What is procrastination?
Procrastination is deferring an action. It sounds simple enough, with no inherent negative connotations, so how did it get such a bad rap?
For as long as I can remember I have heard the advice, Do not leave till later what you can do now, from many authors and speakers.
It is certainly true that sometimes procrastinating can land you in a desperate situation where you’re struggling to finish something you should have finished long ago. However, I don’t believe procrastination is bad in every instance.
The upside of procrastination
Sometimes, there is actually a right time and a right frame of mind to do something, and leaving it till that time can yield better results. This is especially true when it comes to creative work.
You may sit down to get a task done and make no headway whatsoever because your mind isn’t truly ready and as such it’s simply not the right time, only to leave it for some other activity, and come back later to do an excellent job.
Giving top priority to the most important things is the backbone of proper time management, and you can ensure that not a minute of your time is stolen. You can make procrastination work for you. How?
The key is to be deliberate about it. Ask yourself this question often:
“Is this the best use of my time right now?”
What actually steals your time is failing to plan your day. And sometimes even when you do plan it, there aren’t sufficient options to guarantee a fruitful day. When you have a plan and a purpose for your day, deliberate procrastination can help you achieve it.
Even though I believe in having one Most Important Task (MIT) for the day, I also think it’s a great idea to have two others to choose from in case it happens that the MIT isn’t working out. This way, instead of allowing procrastination to steal your time, you can actually channel that time into another important task, and then later when your mind and brain are ready, you return to the postponed one.
When choosing these tasks you can fall back on, it’s absolutely essential to consider their importance to your overall goal and vision. This can make the difference between whether you feel your time has been stolen, or you still experience a sense of achievement.
Another way deliberate procrastination can change your life for the better is it helps you separate good from best. There are so many good activities you can engage it, but you should always ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time right now?”
For people who are pursuing success, who have made a decision to do what is necessary to win in life, there will never be a shortage of activities. There will always be YouTube videos, webinars and books that can help you grow your business, phone calls and networking events that can open doors, and articles that can teach you new things you need to grow as a person. Your calendar will be filled with meetings and appointments. You will even discover many Facebook and Twitter pages that will add value to your life.
You need to be able to separate activities that directly affect the growth of your career and your business bottom line, from those that don’t. You will need to ask yourself often, “Is this the best use of my time right now?”
If the answer is no, by all means leave it till later.