By Dr Milan Balakrishnan
Active procrastination involves deliberately postponing decisions or actions in order to use the pressure of a deadline as motivation to get things done. This type of procrastination is sometimes associated with positive outcomes, such as improved academic achievement.
Active procrastinators tend to use time purposefully, have higher self-efficacy, experience less stress and have better academic outcomes. They have better creativity and tend to be in a flow.
Passive procrastination on the other hand is simply being lazy with no intent to further capitalise on the passed time. There may be a presence of an empty thinking and emotional state, which may lead to the feeling of loneliness and cause anxiety. Active vs Passive Procrastination may or may not be pre-planned. However, the deliberation involved in the active procrastination is said to come with outcomes like a lighter mood, feeling of freshness, motivated intent and in general a positive outlook.
Laziness can be a form of active procrastination. Lazy days can help us settle down, rest, even make us think better and become more productive. Spending unproductive time can help us cope with stress. By taking regular breaks, laziness will give an opportunity to our body and our mind to recharge, thus avoiding burnout. Active procrastinators intentionally or unintentionally make effective use of their lazy time by churning out better outputs and results. Passive procrastination may be accompanied with an indecisive behavioural showcase and an inability to regulate one’s own actions. This may lead to a heightened mode of panic which may sometimes lead to depression as well.
How do acts of laziness, like daytime naps, be helpful for a healthier mind and body?
When we feel lazy, our body and our mind are communicating important information. It may be because we are tired and hungry. It may be because of a lack of motivation. The task may be boring and repetitive. Acknowledging the feeling of laziness can be a great way to better approach the task at hand.
How can laziness be an accelerator of depression and anxiety?
Sometimes depression and anxiety can be misinterpreted as laziness since it can manifest as low energy, low interest and not feeling like doing anything. Anxiety can appear with avoiding anxiety provoking situations and work. Laziness can add to low mood, energy and can worsen negative moods leading to depression.
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