9 Habits Procrastinators Have That Make Them Extraordinarily Successful People

by Paul Hudson

To be a productive individual is to be an efficient individual with ample drive. When it comes to work habits, one of the most common practices is procrastination.

The truth is that everyone procrastinates in life, and it's usually more regularly than anyone would like to admit. We may reason with ourselves and call procrastination by another name, but in the end, procrastinating is procrastinating – and as human beings, we love it.

Procrastinating is postponing or delaying an action or decision. There is nothing intrinsically wrong or negative about procrastinating. In fact, it could even be beneficial.

There are right ways of procrastinating and then there are wrong ways. The extraordinarily productive tend to procrastinate more efficiently than the rest. Here are a few of their procrastination habits:

1. They tend not to do something until they know they need to do it.

This is not because they are avoiding it, but because they understand that as long as they get it done on time, there’s no need to worry. Technically speaking, such delay or postponement of action is procrastination. However, if procrastination has no negative results, then there is no reason to actually avoid it.

If you can do something later and do it properly, then there is no reason you can’t do something more enjoyable now.

In fact, as the chances of you dying increase with every second you’re alive, it’s wiser to do the more enjoyable things sooner than later, as long as everything that needs to be done, will be done and will be done as best as it can be done.

2. Sometimes, they really do wait until the last second.

But usually only when they feel that the added pressure would benefit the final product. Some people work better under pressure; they say it helps with their creativity.

From personal experience, I find that selecting one allotted time slot and setting it aside for specific tasks works best – regardless of whether it’s last second or not. Most people find it easier to dedicate this time when they are running out of it.

As long as you do what you need to do by the time you need it done, and do it as well as you could possibly do it, you can do what you want, when you want. Many people like to feel the pressure of an approaching deadline; there’s nothing wrong with that.

3. They will likely postpone meetings for as long as possible – only because no one really likes meetings.

And they are, more often than not, unnecessary and inefficient. Although meetings are a necessary part of any business, they usually aren’t carried out properly. They are often too long, too vague and unplanned and sometimes entirely pointless.

The extraordinarily productive will avoid wasting time preparing for, getting to and being at the meeting for as long as possible. They only like to have meetings when meetings are entirely necessary.

4. Extraordinarily productive people also like to procrastinate in other parts of their lives, such as their love lives.

They often find themselves, or believe themselves to be, too busy to participate in relationships. To be fair, juggling a loving relationship and a fast-moving career isn’t easy.

It can, however, be done. Timing is everything, but often the super productive leave love for last… which is a shame, as finding love is one of, if not the, most important thing in anyone’s life.

5. They are likely to wait until last minute to start a family.

Starting a family is one of the reasons we are alive; we are designed to reproduce and to extend the longevity of our species. Some people don’t want children -- and that’s fine -- as there are plenty of us who do. With the limited space on earth, that may even be a blessing.

Some, unfortunately, don’t believe they want to start a family until they are much older. Others don’t believe themselves to have the time.

The superbly and efficiently productive have a knack for pushing off family life for as long as they possibly can. Sometimes it works out, but sometimes they live to regret it.

6. They often ignore their social lives… until they need to socialize and let loose.

A big part of being productive is managing your time in a way that allows for you to be productive. This process necessarily involves you cutting back on some of your regular habits and traditions, making time for you to do what you believe to be more important.

This often leaves those who are super productive very much alone. It’s difficult to find friends who are willing to have work-session gatherings. More likely than not, you won’t see your friends for longer stretches of time.

But because you’re human, you’ll eventually need to socialize and will crawl out of your shell for some fun -- and possibly even debauchery.

7. They will, like most people, start with tasks they enjoy more, leaving those they believe to be less enjoyable for last.

Sure, there are some people who do it the other way around, but many will opt to leave the unpleasant for later – if at all possible.

The uber-productive, however, will get everything done that needs to be done, by when it needs to get done. No exceptions.

8. Even the exceptionally productive may procrastinate with decision-making.

Just because you are a productive person doesn’t mean you enjoy making important decisions; some people don’t even blink, while others like to draw out decision-making for as long as they possibly can.

As long as you make a decision by when it needs to be made, there's no harm done. I believe that decisions ought to be made sooner rather than later, so that you can give yourself some peace of mind, but to each his own.

9. They can likewise take their sweet time making big life changes they know they need to make.

Just because you’re productive doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy your comfort zone. Changes make people uncomfortable – even if they are for the better.

Those who are especially diligent and productive are excellent at procrastinating when it comes to making life changes; they voluntarily jump into a pile of work and then tell themselves they don’t have the time to make the necessary changes.

Sure, if there were no change that needed to be made, then they’d likely procrastinate, putting that work off until much later, but they dislike change more than they dislike the work… so the change gets thrown to the end of the queue. 

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It

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