Positive procrastination

I think we’ve all procrastinated something at some time in our lives. If you haven’t, please teach me your ways. Now, we can either feel bad about procrastinating, work on not procrastinating, or work with procrastination.

Here’s an article from the New York Times about positive procrastination and it brings to attention two approaches:

  1. Procrastinate the high-priority task by doing a bunch of low-priority tasks.
  2. Give yourself the options of doing the high-priority task or doing nothing.

Before reading this article, I had always gone with the first approach. And the author was right, procrastinators with this kind of habit (me) have a reputation for getting a lot done.

Now let me summarize how the author proposes the second approach works (and maybe even persuade you to attempt this method). If you’re the kind of procrastinator who procrastinates high-priority tasks by doing a bunch of low-priority tasks, then this second approach will most likely work for you. This is because even though procrastinators aren’t getting done what is most urgent, they’re getting a lot of other things done, probably to assuage the guilt of procrastinating the high-priority task. “Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing.” So if you give yourself the option of doing the high-priority task or doing nothing, it’s likely that you won’t be able to stand doing nothing, and you’ll finally get around to starting that high-priority task.

Give this method a go! And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be back next week with a list of ways for you to productively procrastinate 😉