Did you know that March 5th – 11th is National Procrastination Week? Let’s celebrate procrastination. Embrace your ability to procrastinate. Rather than see procrastination as a fault or weakness, notice how it might actually be a strength and skill. Most popular advice on productivity admonishes you to banish the thought of procrastination. The writers want to kick you into action and get things done.
But take a good look at recent situations where you faulted yourself for procrastinating. What happened? Did the project get cancelled, or were the due dates changed to accommodate you? When I probe what my clients mean by procrastination, we often discover that the extra time serves them well in various ways: they make better decisions because additional information came to light; they save money because an additional opportunity presents itself, or a different approach becomes possible. A slower pace to initiating action often has a big payoff.
It is important to know though whether your procrastination is of the “passive” or “active” variety.
When it is passive, procrastination shows itself as a resistance to taking action, replete with excuses and reasons why action cannot be taken. Active procrastination on the other hand shows up as handling tasks thoughtfully and in measured fashion, as more information is being gathered. Active attention to the timing sets the stage for the eventual launch.
Embrace procrastination as a skill that bears fruit. The constant put downs about procrastinators only serve to discourage people from developing an important skill that breathes creativity and imagination.