For many of my clients, procrastination is a bad habit that to be decimated through a New Year’s resolution. Stereotyped as the natural habit of the lazy, misdirected, or scatter brained, procrastinators are considered unproductive. However, research has found that certain types of procrastination are beneficial to solving bigger problems. Additionally, the procrastination tendency can be harnessed to accomplish goals. I gave a compendium of techniques on the subject for my NPR recording this month.
There are two forms of procrastination. Active Procrastination is “planned procrastination” that allows you to work under pressure and a deadline and “waits” to perform a task or project. An example is doing research for a paper for a few days, then pulling an all-nighter to write it. Passive Procrastination is the type most commonly associated with the dilemma. Characterized by paralyzed decision-making, fear, and not completing tasks under pressure, passive procrastinators are often “stuck” when attempting to embark on a project.
Ironically, many successful people are active procrastinators. They’re the star students who wait until the last-minute to write a paper. They’re scientists who don’t worry about errands to solve global warming. They’re prize employees who focus on customer outcomes instead of paperwork.
For the month of February, I will offer a four-week program on how to make procrastination work for you. I’m a productive active procrastinator with tips for my peers. The articles will address the following:
The Bigger Picture: Using Procrastination to Determine How to Solve Problems
Unschedule: How to Manage Your Time as a Procrastinator
Getting Unstuck: How to Break Free from Passive Procrastination
Procrastinators of the world, unite! Tomorrow!