• Author Dr Marlene Maheu
  • Published March 20, 2010
  • Word count 353

Procrastination has received such a bad rap. And yet that hasn't stopped anyone from procrastinating, has it?

You say you want to stop putting off what you "should" do but still you continue. And then you feel guilty. And maybe angry that you feel guilty. And then you do something to make yourself feel better which is likely to have a self-destructive edge to it such as overeat or drink or become inactive. And you still haven't accomplished your goal!

Wouldn't it be better not to accomplish your goal and avoid the anger/guilt/self-destructive activity? All that makes procrastination look not so bad!

Benefits of Procrastination

Let's consider the benefits of procrastination. It's a way of flipping off that authoritarian voice in your head that gives you your "shoulds." At one time that voice was your mother's (or your Dad's) but it's been with you far longer than you lived at home as a child.

Now it's very much your own. So procrastination is a way of fighting with yourself and identifying with the three-year-old part of you instead of your Caring Parent! Now doesn't that make you proud?

Another benefit of procrastination is that you don't have to recognize your anger. "I don't know why I didn't do it; I meant to." But the truth is you had no intention of doing it (whatever "it" was) but you didn't want to take responsibility for your irresponsibility. So you "tried."

Trying serves to make you look like you're doing something without acknowledging your conflict. You can live on the surface without ever seeing your resistance. In the end you waste time but you are exhausted so how can anyone be angry with you? You tried!

Trying is refusing to accept responsibility for doing what you really want to do. You don't want to say no so you say I'll try. So how can anyone be angry with you?

These benefits of procrastination keep you stuck in an immature part of yourself. When you choose to grow up, you'll quit procrastinating. Until then enjoy yourself! (And take responsibility for what you don't do!)

Dr. Marlene M. Maheu, a Licensed Psychologist, is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of one of the largest self-help & psychology portals, SelfhelpMagazine. More articles from this author are available at

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