Do you ever find yourself procrastinating? I do, and I’ll tell you why.
This morning I had a lot on my mind.
I’m working on a teleconference for the local university, I’m teaching two courses, and taking one of my own. My mind was full as I was trying to formulate the hook for the telecourse knowing that I only had an hour to actually work on it before teaching my own course.
Instead of going straight to my office, I found myself washing the dishes, picking up my toddler’s books, and making tea before making my way there.
As I was doing these tasks the hook I was looking for started to formulate.
So, is procrastinating always bad?
I recently read about an experiment with Chinese College students doing various creative thinking tasks while in different physical state like standing, lying down, and sitting, or walking in figure eights, and walking freely. The experimenters found that out of the first 3 listed, standing got better ratings than seated or lying down, and walking freely earned better ratings than figure eights.
The researchers proposed that more physically active conditions probably use more mental bandwidth reducing the amount of control people had over their thoughts.
The less control we have, the easier it is for our brains to access our subconscious which can put together seemingly abstract thoughts to create those “a-ha!” moments. You know, the ones that usually happen in the shower.
But remember, there is a difference.
Purposely wasting time and avoiding tasks to put them off IS procrastinating and will likely not get you any further.
But, when your problem-solving skills are at a standstill, purposely going for a walk, getting a cup of tea, or going out for a run may help your mind access what you’re looking for.
Tell me in the comments below, where and when do you get your best ideas?