I’ve been plotting with the team of the Circle of the 4 Notebooks to release a new blog post together! For this new article, we’re exploring how the bullet journal system can help your personal growth. You can find the links to read Ady’s, Karolina’s, Powa’s and Caro’s blog posts (all of them in French) at the end of this post!
On my side, I’m talking about procrastination and the benefits that come with this bad habit…
You could think, based on the posts I write here about planning and productivity or the pics I post on Instagram, that I overcame procrastination a long time ago and that I always try to be as productive as possible. Truth is that it’s absolutely not like that.
It’s time to confess that I’m a procrastination master and I’m actually pretty ok with that. So today, I won’t talk about the tasks I manage to tackle or the lists I completed. This post is about all the blank pages in my journal and the days my productivity level is far from its maximum. Here’s a praise for procrastination.
I hope it will inspire you, and that somehow, it will demystify what you can see on Instagram that makes you feel everyone is doing great with procrastination.
Benefits of procrastination #1 : save time
Yes, you can save time with procrastination. It can seem impossible, as the usual way to see tasks is that you save time by doing them in advance.
But most of people are way more productive we they are in a hurry.
If I know that I have days ahead of me to complete a task, it’s very likely that I’ll procrastinate it until time’s almost up and I really need to get to work. That’s why, despite the reminders I schedule on my phone and the lists I have in my bullet journal, I can’t help myself to wait for the last minute to start working on the tasks with a deadline.
Procrastinating like that actually make me save time: I’m not spending days to work on a document or project that I can actually complete in half a day when I focus to be as productive as possible. It’s exactly what’s described in the Parkinson’s law: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Procrastination is a way to reduce the time available for the task and to save it to do something else. In the end, procrastination is a way to save time.
Benefits of procrastination #2 : catching up with overdue tasks
Once again, it’s a bit contradictory…
Procrastination is about delaying a task you are not enthusiastic about or you simply don’t want to do at all. In this situation, we all tend to avoid the cursed task and to spend our time on everything else that’s on our task list.
Instead of seeing procrastination negatively, we can also see the bright side of it: there’s a chance that by procrastinating, you’ll take care of tasks that are waiting for your attention for a long time, and that you’ll make up for the delay accumulated.
Once you’ll only have the task you’re lacking motivation for, you won’t any other choice but to handle it anyway.
Even though I try to have strategies to avoid procrastination (monthly goal planning in this case),
I also try to embrace and take advantage of it.
Benefits of procrastination #3 : focus on what matters
I can’t count the tasks I once write in my bullet journal and that have been migrated from a daily to a weekly log and then to a monthly plan, sometimes for weeks or months.
Procrastination sometimes gets me very close to a disaster (paying taxes at 23h59 on the very last day is NOT the brightest idea I had in my life), but it also help me to focus on what really matters.
By procrastinating some tasks, we can also come to the point we realise they are less important than what we thought and that it’s more relevant to focus on something else.
The migration, which is a cornerstone of the bullet journal system is the perfect way to decide whether a task is still worth of your attention and time: migrating tasks takes time, but it’s a good way to pause and consider each task. All the items that are no longer relevant are knocked out of your organization system to help you focus on what can make a difference.
Benefits of procrastination #4 : breed your creativity
When I log a task in my bullet journal, I can leave it there for days before I take action to complete it. When it happens it usually means that the task isn’t worthy of my time and energy, or that I don’t really know how to handle it.
I often procrastinate tasks such as writing an email or start a new project, because I just don’t know what would be the best way to tackle the problem. The time I spent procrastinating about it becomes time I spend to think about it. This thinking process can take days during which my brain is working to find ideas and refine them. The only tangible action I take during this time is to jot down ideas in my bullet journal for future reference. This way, when the time comes to write or design something, and when I’m about to be out of time, I can rely on my sketches and notes to work something out.
I also take advantage of the last minute tension to mobilize all my brain resources. Being under pressure usually helps me to get even more creative at problem solving.
Some days don’t need a plan… I sometimes skip days in my bullet journal or just log some
happy memories instead of the usual task list.
Benefits of procrastination #5: live in the moment
Procrastination isn’t all about laziness. It’s also a way to live in the moment, and to take time to do things that aren’t exactly useful. Procrastinating a task to enjoy a little more time with your loved ones, to dream about something big or just to enjoy the ray of sunshine through the window isn’t a bad thing. There’s no reason to feel guilty about enjoying the small things that give you positive thoughts and happy memories.
Fighting procrastination is a daily challenge. That’s actually to help me kill this bad habit that I started to use the bullet journal system in the first place. But procrastination also have its hidden benefits: you can chose to embrace laziness from time to time and live in the moment.
The bullet journal system is an ally to anyone who struggles with procrastination. It’s a forgiving planning system that allows task migration and helps to focus on what matters the most.
Procrastination isn’t as bad as it seems, as long as it doesn’t prevent you to take action as needed and to achieve your goals.
Check out the posts from the other members of the Circle of the 4 Notebooks!
All of them are in French but it’s definitely a great way to practice 😉