Photo copyright Jon Crispin 2011.

Photo copyright Jon Crispin 2011

Sunday, June 22, 2014

In Defense of Procrastination

I've been thinking about procrastination lately. I am a chronic procrastinator and have read many articles on how to stop procrastinating, but I've never read anything about why procrastination is a bad thing. Everyone tacitly assumes that we must do everything we can to stamp out this bad habit from our lives.

Well, I'm here today to defend procrastination, at least as I experience it in my own life.

I almost always put off doing something until the last minute. I started looking at my life and habits to see what the payoff is for procrastination and have come to two conclusions.

1. Procrastination is a form of delayed gratification.

We all know the joy of completing a task or making a decision that has been put off. The longer the task remains undone, the bigger the payoff in pleasure. Taking care of something immediately means minor pleasure, and then another task immediately moves in to take the place. It's like being stoned to death with popcorn. I prefer the giant relief that a long-postponed task has finally been finished, take a deep sigh of relief, decide whether a morning or afternoon nap is the best next move and wait for the pressure of the next deferred task to build up to the required pressure to move it to the top of the pile.

2. Putting off acting allows my conscious and unconscious mind to work on the situation until a decision is reached. Then I can act.

 99% of the time, I've already made the decision and am stalling for time for clarity and insight into how to implement the decision in a way that is most beneficial to all concerned.

Immediate action is not always the best way for me. I'm impulsive enough by nature to know that the first inclination is not always the best. I'm working hard on thinking before I act, and procrastination is my friend.

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