3 Articles on the Good, Bad, & Indifferent Elements of Procrastination

April 27, 2017

The deadline—circled in red on my planner. The absolute LAST day I can send my book off to the editor. It’s only twelve weeks away. I haven’t written a word.

Two weeks pass. I’ve written almost thirty thousand more words in blog posts, but not a word of that book. Eight weeks to go.

Two more weeks pass. Today I looked at my calendar. Six weeks. I opened the project in Scrivener. That counts, right?

Good, Bad, & Indifferent Elements of Procrastination

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I’m a chronic procrastinator. Some people delay the stuff they don’t WANT to do. Me, I’m an equal opportunity procrastinator. It’s as if the minute I have a deadline, I’m determined to break it.

I have a lot of theories on why.

  • I’ve trained myself to work on the most pressing first.
  • I need to wait until it’s almost due before the project can finish percolating. Without a looming deadline, I don’t let that story start simmering or something.
  • I am addicted to adrenaline.

Yeah, it’s probably that one.

So, what’s the solution?

I found 3 articles that look at the good, bad, and indifferent elements of procrastination.

Originals by Adam GrantThe first is this article from Adam Grant (author of Originals) on the New York Times website. He posits that procrastination helps people move past the “first idea” and into a better one. The main reason that I gave any credence to it is that the idea wasn’t his excuse for being a chronic procrastinator. On the contrary. He was a “pre-crastinator” who learned a thing or two from one of his students.

That and because I really liked the idea I wasn’t totally messed up.

However, Timothy Psychyl from Psychology Today insists that much of Grant’s “research” is inherently flawed. I didn’t want to share his article. Why? Because I can’t use his article to justify my procrastination. And that just stinks. Then again, all his article really does is validate Grant’s theories—but give them another word. He calls it “delay” and insists that procrastination is another thing entirely. He’s probably right.

But who cares? Let’s face it. “Productive Procrastination” has a better ring to it than, “Productive Delay” or “Deliberate Delay.” Blech.

However, Forbes columnist, Beth Kuhel, rebuts the rebuttal in this article. Thanks, Beth. She not only references Adam Grant’s book, but she also… get this… Shows historical procrastinators who made a difference in the world—when they procrastinated! WOOHOO!

What does it all mean?

No clue. So, regardless of what side of the procrastination fence you’re on, the good news is, there are articles to support your position! Go procrastinate a bit—read them! And figure out if you’ve changed your mind or not. It’s productive procrastination/deliberate delay. I promise!

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