Go Ahead, Procrastinate
WHAT’S THE CASE FOR PROCRASTINATING?
You can’t do everything at once, and many things aren’t worth doing, especially those that don’t closely fit your own unique set of personal values and objectives. I’ve seen so many clients beating themselves up for having to-do lists that were so unreasonable and punishing. Yet they were hard working productive people who just needed to embrace some new “procrastivity” habits, including letting go of a lot of those to-dos that weren’t serving them yet were making them feel miserable. Giving these up allowed them the freedom and confidence to pursue those initiatives that evoked more of their potential, and resulted in more meaningful and satisfying successes.
WHAT EXACTLY IS “PROCRASTIVITY?”
“Procrastivity” is a combination of the concepts of procrastination, productivity, and creativity. It describes a way of mastering time, effort, and energy, maximizing flow, and using the intentional and wise choice to delay some tasks and initiatives so that we can spend our effort and time on more fruitful, meaningful, and fulfilling objectives.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO DETERMINE WHEN IT CAN BE PRODUCTIVE TO PUT OFF TASKS?
Ask yourself, “Is this the very best way to fulfill my objectives so I can express my most heartfelt values?” Perhaps there could be better, easier ways. Among the other questions to ask: Is this something I’m really ready for? Do I have all the information I need to pursue this? Am I sure it won’t prevent or distract me from embracing and utilizing more of my potential? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s probably a very good idea to put it off—at least for now.
ON THE FLIP SIDE, WHAT METHODS CAN WE USE TO GET MOTIVATED TO FINISH WHAT WE PUT OFF?
Schedule it on your calendar in 30 to 90-minute time blocks on a set of specific date(s) at specific times rather than just putting it on a to-do list. Get someone to help hold you accountable to completing the task by a particular date/time, particularly someone who won’t let you slide, and whose good opinion you don’t want to lose. Create a very unpleasant consequence for not following through, and set up a way to enforce it that doesn’t just depend on you. For example, give a friend a check for a considerable sum, made out to an organization or political group whose mission or values you loathe, and have that friend send the check off if you don’t follow through.