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8 Reasons Why People Who Procrastinate Are More Creative

8 Reasons Why People Who Procrastinate Are More Creative

People who procrastinate get a bad reputation! I consider myself a procrastinator, so I may be a little biased. I’ve come up with some of my best ideas because I did procrastinate, so listen up!

The word procrastinator comes from the Latin verb procrastinare, which means deferred until tomorrow. The word itself usually carries a negative connotation. Although, there are many different reasons people choose to procrastinate, when it comes to creativity it may be their best muse. I’m going to give you eight reasons why people who procrastinate are more creative.

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1. They Wait for the Magic

Those who procrastinate are sometimes just waiting for their creativity to hit. They can’t force the ideas to come, but when it does, it can be magical. There are many times where I’m just sitting around waiting for ideas to come. I then walk away, or procrastinate, and it can be an hour, a day, or even a week later before it hits me. So, the next time you are struggling…walk away.

2. They Come Back Recharged

Many times we try and push through when we are tired. If you keep working in a depleted state, your results will suffer. Those who procrastinate by taking breaks such as a nap, or maybe enjoy some “me time,” come back fresh, more energized, and create a better product.

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3. They Have Time to Prepare

There have been times when my creativity has stalled because I didn’t have all the information. Once I gathered what I needed, it was on! Procrastinators need time to gather the right information in order to be confident in what they are creating.

4. They Have Less Stress

Having to make a decision “right now” can sometimes create stress. When stressed, our brain releases a hormone called Cortisol, which – without getting technical – makes you dumb. Besides clouding our brain Cortisol also lowers our immune system which can cause a number of illnesses, both physically and mentally. So, the next time you have a stressful decision, take a break. You won’t just come back with a better decision, but you will be improving your health as well.

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5. They get ideas subconsciously

I can’t tell you how many times my brain has been stuck on something, and then I’ll be driving down the road, walking through a store, or waiting in a line when the “idea” hits! What happens as you move through your day is your environment changes. As your environment changes your brain is confronted with stimuli which makes it think in different ways. The change of scenery can produce ideas when you aren’t trying to be creative. It’s your subconscious that produces this creativity. So when you’re stuck, change your scenery and the idea your looking for may just present itself when you least expect it.

6. They Don’t Forget Stuff

There have been plenty of times where I have been doing something and thought to myself “I just want to get this done,” but knew I was forgetting something. After walking away, my brain reorganizes itself and what I was forgetting comes to me. Procrastinating gives you time to prepare and make sure you’re not forgetting something.

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7. They Have Less Regret

I’m heading to Costa Rica in January, and have taken care of my lodging, but haven’t purchased my flight. If I would have bought my flight when I was arranging the rest of my trip, I would have had an eleven-hour flight with a layover in Houston. Because I waited, or “procrastinated” my flight is now a direct five-hour flight that cost less than the original. Procrastinating gives you a chance to think about certain decisions. Especially, those impulsive ones we wish we hadn’t made.

8. They Are Happier

People who procrastinate have more time for themselves and can partake in “me time.” When you spend time with loved ones or take time for yourself, you are a happier, more relaxed you.

If you are a procrastinator, keep creating my friend. If you are someone who knows a procrastinator, think before calling them out…they may be on to something!

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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