We’re fed this belief that by procrastinating our time, we’re incapable of achieving anything. Every second spent procrastinating is a second invested in losing. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Real winners do in fact procrastinate.
Contrary to popular belief, procrastination is at the heart of time management. Procrastination is the tool that creates good time management, not the weapon that destroys it. Fundamentally, choosing to procrastinate purposefully is to manage your time efficiently.
I know that’s completely contradictory to everything you’ve ever been told. Nearly everything you’ve probably heard up until this point has led you to believe that being a procrastinator is a terrible thing.
And with good reason. I mean, it doesn’t sound logical to think that “If I procrastinate my time rather than doing what I should do, then I’ll achieve success.”
But today we’re going to explore how you can actually manage your time through procrastination, rather than evade it completely.
That’s the main idea and focus you have to keep in mind when it comes to managing your time through procrastination. No matter what you do, no matter how you swing it, you’re always, always, always putting off one thing in order to do another.
Even if you choose to do the productive thing, like say, work on that important project for your job or school. You are still putting off lounging around and giving yourself a mental break from stress or putting off sleep.
You may put off cleaning your room so that you can catch up on the Walking Dead or vice versa. You may put off writing a paper so that you can take a nap or the reverse. You may put off playing video games so that you can eat dinner or quite the opposite.
In making the decision to spend your time doing one thing, you are, in turn, slacking off another.
You consistently procrastinate one thing so that you can spend time on another thing. There’s simply no way to avoid procrastination entirely. You can either slack off the productive thing or slack off the lazy thing. The choice is yours.
To go as far as to say that you shouldn’t procrastinate, you shouldn’t slack off, though, is just insane. I mean, literally by spending your time doing anything, even IF it is productive, you are procrastinating something else, even if that thing is significantly less productive.
You may be diligently preparing your PowerPoint presentation for your colleagues. And while that may seem like you’re just “gettin it done” and not procrastinating at all, you’re really procrastinating something else. That something else could be spending time building your own business or maybe even just relaxing on the couch watching TV to ease your mind. Whatever it is, even though you’re seemingly doing the “right” thing and not procrastinating at all, the fact of the matter is, you are procrastinating that something else.
And by the way, you don’t necessarily have to procrastinate either a productive activity OR a leisurely one. You can procrastinate one productive activity over the other. You can choose to write a blog instead of doing the dishes, for example. You procrastinate doing the dishes so that you can write your blog (or maybe even vice versa)
You see, there’s no such thing as “NOT procrastinating. You have time as a resource and you dictate how allocate that resource accordingly. The very act of spending that time doing something, anything really, means you are procrastinating, or putting off, something else ‘til later.
Good time management is not so much about choosing how to spend your time, but about choosing how NOT to spend your time. And since procrastinating is, in essence that in which you are not spending time on RIGHT NOW, we can surmise that time management skills come down to your ability to procrastinate.
Now that we covered how not procrastinating is impossible, I want to clarify what I think is meant behind the words of “don’t procrastinate” when people tell you such advice. On the surface, it seems that they are telling you to avoid procrastination. Period. But given the fact that doing so is not even achievable, as there is always something you are procrastinating whether it be productive or leisurely, there must be a deeper implied meaning.
What they mean, at the core, is that the shit necessary and/or meaningful should be taken care of first, while the other more nonessential gimmicks should be “put off ‘til later.”
Don’t procrastinate your homework. Don’t procrastinate getting up to go to work. Don’t procrastinate maintaining a clean home.Don’t procrastinate (insert productive activity here) -- is what they’re saying.
In turn, they are telling you to go ahead and procrastinate on these rather “wasteful” activities. They are telling you to procrastinate playing video games. Procrastinate watching TV. Procrastinate taking a 6 hour long nap.
There is value in knowing what to procrastinate on and what not to and being able to prioritize just how exactly you spend your time. That said, the choice is yours. You decide when to use procrastination and what for.
You choose which important shit to do RIGHT NOW
It’s not a choice of whether or not you should procrastinate. This isn’t a black or white question. You are going to procrastinate. The question is: What are you going to procrastinate on?
Pick the important shit, and while there’s sort of an expectation of what that “important shit is”, it really comes down to your own core values. Use your own discretion, not the opinion of the crowd, to choose what the important shit is.
Sure, maybe everyone thinks showing up to work 9 to 5 is the real “important shit”. But not you. You value freedom (of doing what you want) over security (of a cozy desk job) and thus, believe that right now, spending time snuggling up on the couch with your laptop to set up a website so you can begin building your own business and escape corporate slavery is more essential than tying your shackles to as DESK.
Or maybe you do value a safety net over freedom, then waking up at the ass crack of dawn to get to work in time would be important shit to you (of course if that is the case, this blog definitely isn’t for you to be honest).
The point is, when it comes to determining what the important shit is, don’t always eat what’s served for you. Cook your own meal, so to speak. That is to say, don’t let anything or anyone tell you what you “should” be doing right now. Make that decision for yo own damn self.
Live a life of desire, not obligation.
On the flip side, you choose which trivial shit to procrastinate on ‘til later
In making the decision to call something “important shit”, you are in turn saying this other shit ain’t that important.
Shit that ain’t that important (in your opinion) is the shit you procrastinate on.
If writing up a report ain’t important to you, procrastinate that shit. If reading the next chapter for your science class ain’t that important, procrastinate that shit. If playing some Among Us with your buddies ain’t that important, procrastinate that shit.
By choosing to procrastinate on shit, congratulations! You’ve practiced time management skills. Even though it would seem time management is about diligently laying out a schedule and prioritizing what needs get to done first and foremost, you can actually do it by what needs to get done last and least.
See, Procrastination is Prioritizing; it’s just doing it in the reverse way. Instead of saying “this is what needs to get done right now”, you’re saying “this is what I’ll do later.” You are, in a nutshell, picking your priorities using the resource of time.
You sort of create a to-do list from bottom to top. By saying what is trivial shit, you are also saying what is important shit. It goes hand in hand.
If you choose not to get up early to go to work and lay on the couch to binge-watch Netflix, don’t beat yourself up about it later. You told yourself that going to work was trivial shit and didn’t go. Don’t get all uppity after making that decision.
Do everything with slow PURPOSE.
At this point in learning time management, it’s not so much about choosing to do the “right” thing, but about choosing something and making that choice right. Procrastinate on what you’re going to procrastinate on and stick to it.
None of this “Oh whoopsite. I should have done this instead.” after the fact No.
Weigh out the pros and cons before making your move. Be Deliberate in your procrastination. Remove any and all guilt about doing the “wrong” thing.
There is no wrong thing. Get that out of your mind. You want to feel comfortable with your own procrastination.
Yes, eventually you’ll be able to make more productive or worthwhile choices; you’ll be able to use that procrastination to put off insignificant matters and focus on real meaningful things. For now though, don’t worry so much about being effective with your time. Just get used to the idea that you do in fact choose what to spend your time and what not to/what to procrastinate on.
You don’t have to self discipline yourself to do a certain thing over another. After all, “Self discipline” is just a fancy word for “self torture”.
You’re sabotaging your ability to manage your own time if you act on obligation rather than desire.
If you can Procrastinate with Purpose, you, in essence, can manage your time effectively.
Removing the guilt means you do it on purpose. You purposefully make the decision to put something off ‘til later. You procrastinate with purpose.
Eventually, you’ll be able to make better decisions and procrastinate on the objectively more wasteful thing to do with your time. It just takes learning the habit of being aware of what you’re putting off now and why.
Be a procrastinator, it’s the best way to be adept at time-management.
Take it easy,