The Healthy Type of Procrastination

I was wrong. In a recent keynote program I shared an insight with an audience that said “classic procrastination is consciously avoiding what you know you should be doing.” That part is accurate but the part that I erred in was explaining it with two other negative and more dangerous types of procrastination (which are unconscious that I refer to as Creative Avoidance and Priority Dilution) and classic procrastination isn’t always negative.

Yes I, Rory Vaden, just said that. 🙂  And I’ll say it again! Procrastination isn’t always bad! Actually there is a form of classic procrastination which is healthy and even mandatory to live a more fulfilled life.

Conscious Procrastination is, in some cases, exactly what we would call PLANNING! And planning is healthy. Planning is one of the critical elements of living a disciplined life that produces breakthrough results and allows you to maintain freedom, peace, and perspective.

We can’t take immediate action on everything that comes into our life the moment it shows up because otherwise we’d perpetually be falling victim to whatever is, as my friend and author David Allen says “latest and loudest.” We instead need to coordinate the most effective times to complete a task (one where we have the right tools, the right amount of time available, and the appropriate amount of energy to do so).

So conscious procrastination can be good because it sometimes occurs as planning. The key distinction is whether or not the activity is actually PLANNED. Is there a specific time space allotted for it and is there a game-plan in place for accomplishing any other prerequisite activities (such as gathering tools, getting the right people involved, and being emotionally prepared, etc.) prior to the launch of that activity?

Conscious procrastination with specificity is called planning. Conscious procrastination with vagueness is called being a lazy ass. What a subtle difference!

I invite you to procrastinate today – just make sure you’re doing it with specificity.

See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the Stairs – Success means doing things you don’t want to do

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