Thursday, October 30, 2008

productive procrastination!

Are you a natural procrastinator? Everyone experiences the desire to procrastinate at some point in their lives. For one reason or another, nothing is harder than doing the one task that needs to get done. People go to great lengths — create excuses, find other work, or even hide — to avoid a dreaded task. Usually time spent procrastinating is simply wasted, but it doesn’t have to be.


When managed effectively, the desire to avoid one job can be used to get other things done. This strategy is called structured procrastination. Rather than doing nothing at all, take care of business that normally gets forgotten. This is a great way to deal with mundane chores. Use your desire to avoid real work to force yourself to work harder at something else!


My favorite structured procrastination activities include:

  • Organizing my work area
  • Networking
  • Scheduling
  • Tying up loose ends
  • Meetings
  • Running errands
  • Clearing out my inbox
  • Helping others
  • Getting up to date

Of course, structured procrastination doesn’t always work. There will be times when you can’t stand to do anything work related. Usually this is a sign that you need to take a break and recharge.


Rather than forcing yourself to work when you aren’t up for it, embrace procrastination completely. These activities cure procrastination by rejuvenating energy and creativity:

  • Go to lunch
  • Exercise
  • Take a walk
  • Cat nap
  • Creative thinking
  • Read a good book

Of course, there are many other excellent alternatives for both structured and unstructured procrastination. The key is experimenting until you find what works for you. Hopefully these suggestions will help you think of new ways to get things done even when you don’t feel like it.

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