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April 13, 2020

Is Procrastination All That Bad?

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The book I am re-reading right now is The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins, and there are a number of ideas I want to touch on but I’ll start with this.

In the book, Mel talks about the two sides of procrastination. There is the one we all talk about, called destructive procrastination that keeps us from doing important tasks, but then there’s also this thing called productive procrastination.

Productive procrastination is actually a really important part of the creative process. While you may want to submit that proposal or start making headway on that new system, sometimes we complete our work before we’ve applied our best mental effort. When we procrastinate on the topic, we let the idea ruminate in our minds and give our brains the time to make obscure connections and evaluate more creative options. Presently, that process of delaying and putting off the work is being labeled as procrastination. For example,“I just can’t get myself to sit down and do it”. This happens because our intuition is telling us it’s not the right time yet. It knows that we have something better to produce, and procrastination is us buying time for that to come to light.

However, if there’s a deadline and the work needs to get done, then it’s not entirely about the creative process, and that’s where the conventional destructive procrastination comes in. That’s when we know there are consequences to not taking action. Here, procrastination is a mechanism of escapism from our present reality. 

So be careful, and understand that procrastination isn’t all that bad. Thinking through what your reasons are for delaying the work will help you realize which form procrastination is taking.

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