Productive Procrastination: Turning Laziness into Productivity

Productive Procrastination

Procrastination is often seen as the enemy of productivity.

It evokes images of laziness, indolence, and ineffective time management.

However, did you know that there is a form of procrastination that can actually promote productivity?

This is called productive procrastination.

Definition of Productive Procrastination

Unlike traditional procrastination, which postpones important tasks in favor of useless or distracting activities, productive procrastination involves delaying certain tasks while accomplishing others that are also beneficial.

Similarly, a Dutch practice called Niksen advocates “doing nothing” deliberately as a way to promote well-being and relaxation.

Key Points Table:

Aspect Description
Traditional Procrastination Often associated with laziness and decreased productivity
Productive Procrastination A deliberate pause to focus on different tasks can increase productivity
Niksen Dutch practice of "doing nothing" deliberately for well-being and relaxation

The Science Behind Productive Procrastination

Various studies have explored the concept of productive procrastination and identified certain advantages and disadvantages associated with this practice. Here’s a summary of the findings:

Advantages of Productive Procrastination

  1. Redistribution of Efforts:
  2. Replacement of Behaviors:
    • It allows the replacement of an adaptive behavior with another, although less important, like organizing notes instead of studying for an exam. This can sometimes lead to a more organized work environment and better long-term preparation.
  3. Increase in Creativity:
    • Deliberate breaks can promote creativity and analytical thinking, which can be beneficial when returning to the main task.

Disadvantages of Productive Procrastination

  1. Ineffective Prioritization:
    • Productive procrastination can lead to ineffective prioritization of tasks, where important or urgent tasks are neglected in favor of less important tasks.
  2. Possible Delay:
    • There may be a delay in completing main or urgent tasks, which can sometimes cause stress or negative consequences.
  3. Procrastination Habit:
    • There is a risk that productive procrastination becomes a habit, which can lead to non-productive procrastination if not well managed.

Productive procrastination, associated with the practice of Niksen, offers a unique perspective on time management and productivity. By understanding and judiciously integrating these forms of procrastination and relaxation into our daily routine, we can transform a once stigmatized habit into a powerful tool to increase our efficiency and well-being.

Table summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of Productive Procrastination

Advantages of Productive Procrastination Description
Redistribution of Efforts Ineffective Prioritization
Replacement of Behaviors Possible Delay
Increase in Creativity Procrastination Habit

Transition to Productive Procrastination

Now that we have explored the theory behind productive procrastination, the question remains: how can we transition from traditional procrastination to more productive procrastination?

It’s about recognizing when procrastination occurs and using that time more constructively.

Implementation of Productive Procrastination

Implementing productive procrastination in your daily routine requires strategic thinking and planning. Here are some steps that can help you get started:

  1. Identification of Tasks:
    • Identify tasks that often cause procrastination and those that are beneficial and can be used as productive procrastination activities.
  2. Development of a Routine:
    • Establish a daily routine that allocates time for productive breaks. These breaks can include activities that are enjoyable while being beneficial.
  3. Use of Timers:
    • Use timers to help you manage your time effectively, allocating time for productive procrastination.
  4. Evaluation and Adjustment:
    • Regularly evaluate your routine and adjust it based on what works best for you.

Examples of Productive Procrastination

To further illustrate productive procrastination, let’s look at some concrete examples:

  • Organization: If you are postponing an important task, use this time to organize your workspace. A well-organized environment can improve concentration and productivity. If you want to accelerate your success, you can also hire a time management coach.
  • Learning: Use procrastination time to learn something new or develop a skill that can contribute to your personal or professional development.
  • Physical Exercise: : If you have trouble concentrating, use this time to exercise. Physical exercise can help reduce stress and improve mental clarity.


Productive procrastination offers a fascinating alternative to traditional procrastination.

By learning to use our procrastination time more constructively, we can improve our productivity and overall well-being.

The key is to recognize when procrastination occurs and to choose productive activities that bring us closer to our goals, even if they’re unrelated to the task we’re putting off.

With deliberate practice and conscious reflection, productive procrastination can become a valuable tool in our arsenal for better time management.

If you are interested in the topic of productivity, I invite you to discover all my articles on productivity.

If you are looking for tools to improve your time management skills, I recommend you read my article on the best time management apps.

If you want to take advantage of the expertise of a time management coach, write to us now using our contact form or call us by phone or on WhatsApp at +33 6 69 46 03 79.

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Read this article in other languages

Français La Procrastination Productive : Transformer la Paresse en Productivité
ItalianoProcrastinazione produttiva: trasformare la pigrizia in produttività

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