Using Procrastination Productively for Small Businesses

Most people have procrastinated at some point in their work lives. Whether they were masters of procrastination in college or they’ve only recently started to feel tempted into putting off work, they can use this time in a productive fashion. You might be shocked to hear that procrastination can actually be productive, but you’ll find that it can be when you don’t just stare at the wallpaper.


Breathing Room

The decision to get some fresh air can often help to invigorate people. Going for a walk outside or taking a stroll to the coffee shop down the street can actually help people to unwind. While you don’t want employees to speed through their work, you do want them to give the projects the attention needed in an efficient fashion. Having the time to absorb fresh air can help employees to move through projects more quickly the rest of the day. It can give them a surge of energy and motivate them to put more effort into their work.


Creative Thoughts

Sometimes, your employees probably have to sit down and crunch numbers or input quantitative data into a file. At other points, you may need to them to formulate their own plans in a creative manner. When they are constantly thinking without a break, they may not have the most creative ideas. Taking some time to just sit quietly allows their minds to rejuvenate. Even when they are on that casual stroll, an idea might come to them. People often need to think before they act, and when your employees never have a break, that often isn’t possible.


Time for Revision

Think back to your college writing classes, and you’ll probably remember a number of lessons about revision. Your professors probably told you that you had to let your papers sit for a while before you tried to revise them. If you want employees to submit quality work, which you probably do, you need to give them time to think about what they have already done. They may take some time after they finish a portion of a project before they go back to review it. During this time period, they can gain a fresh perspective to look at the work and revise it more accurately.


Quality Work

When you constantly have employees who are churning out products without a break, the quality of those products is likely to suffer. You’ve probably heard the old adage that the quality of the work is more important than the amount of work that is done. Employees who never have the chance to procrastinate are probably tired and overworked. Therefore, the quality of what they produce can begin to decline.



Although you probably don’t want employees hanging out around the break room, you do want them to have strong rapport with one another. When employees procrastinate, a good chance exists that they are chatting with one another. During these casual conversations, they can get to know more about one another’s lives. Employees get to see one another as human beings, not just drones working at a job. Sympathy can encourage employees to help one another, and you may end up with a more productive workplace.


Lessons Learned

You don’t want to encourage excessive procrastination in the workplace, especially when employees have tight deadlines to meet. However, consider how people do learn from their mistakes. If an employee procrastinates and has to suffer consequences from that procrastination, he or she may be more likely to avoid such delay strategies in the future. You just need to make sure that this moment of procrastination does not hurt the company.


Reducing Staff

At some point, you may need to reduce the number of staff members due to financial concerns. While this scenario is an unfortunate one, you still need to approach it in a pragmatic manner. You might assess which employees continue to procrastinate even though you have told them to stop, and you have a somewhat easy answer to your question of who to eliminate.


Procrastination is a word that tends to come with a negative connotation. However, you can find ways to harness its power in positive ways for your business.