As a business consultant and life coach, I’m struck with how often I field questions about the problem of procrastination—or more specifically how to overcome it. This seems to be a huge concern for people at every stage of personal development.
The responses touch obvious bases: Take small steps; don’t expect perfection; find an accountability partner. But recently another thought crossed my mind. Why not make the tendency to put things off work in our favor? Let’s procrastinate later!
Want to check your social media feed instead of writing that proposal? No problem. You can scroll through the app later, after you hit “Send.” Been meaning to clean the garage, but reruns of Judge Judy feel so enticing? Record the shows and watch them later. Planning to start eating healthy as soon as the potato chips are gone? The chips will be there later, and might have gotten stale and lost their appeal by then. You get the idea.
Sure, it’s a gimmick, it’s a little goofy, and it doesn’t address every situation in which we’re tempted to delay the important while we succumb to the trivial. But it’s worth a try. And simply knowing you’ve set aside time to procrastinate once the more critical tasks are done may provide the comfort and motivation you need to move in the right direction.
Here’s a confession. There’s a video I’d like to watch which supposedly reveals the secrets of a famous magician. I had to choose between that or writing this brief article. The article won out for now. I’ll get around to the video eventually. Maybe tomorrow.
4 comments on “Procrastinate Later” Add yours →
Another great tip! I’ve been doing this for years and it works every time. I usually find myself negotiating in my mind what to do first. Once you get into the habit of tackling the important things first, it gets easier.
Maybe a formula : realize that you do know what you are doing, and those other people around you who are touring their skills , abilities and results are doing just that; touting !!! Trust yourself, and as my Dad once said, “ a mistake is not a mistake unless it can not be fixed, and everything except death and taxes can be fixed “.
My technique is to vividly visualize in my mind’s eye all of the bad things that may happen if I fail to take action on a task that’s been sitting on my desk (or these days, in my email) and then also all of the rewarding things that will happen if I just get it done.
Very cool! This is something I actually do but didn’t realize it until I read your article. When I want to do something more fun than the task at hand … I tell myself I’ll do that just as soon as I finish what needs to be done. It gives me something to look forward to. Of course, there are times when I give into the more fun thing first but most of the time I put it off.