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The Artful Dodger

Feb 26, 2008
I'm sure you'll agree with me that most people will see procrastination as a negative. But today I want to challenge this belief.

Wikipedia says procrastination is about deferment or avoidance of an action or task. It may result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of productivity, the creation of crisis, and the disapproval of others.
But why do we procrastinate?

We procrastinate to avoid change. And fair enough I say. Change takes effort and if we're honest we don't want to change. In fact I don't want to change to such an extent I've recently started to cross out the word "change" in a book by Wayne Dyer (who I usually love reading). Simply, I'm fed up with people telling me to change. I DON'T WANT TO CHANGE!


I think I should "like me" as I am. In fact, I think I should "love me" as I am. And I think you should love you too. Even if life is a mess, beating yourself up because you didn't do something or forgot to do it for, say eight weeks of the new year, isn't really a good policy.

Sometimes procrastination can be useful, if used correctly.

There are three type of procrastination:

1. Doing nothing
2. Doing something less important
3. Doing something more important

Type three, I think, is excellent procrastination and the type that can be used effectively.

Some of the greatest people are "type three procrastinators". Sometimes type three procrastinators have been known to forget to eat or are too busy to eat all three meals in a day.

To me, housework is less important than working with a client. Housework is also less important than spending time with my family or helping a friend or neighbor. I procrastinated so much on housework last year that in the end we asked someone to clean for us so we could spend more time doing "something more important" as a family.

The way I think about procrastination is like this: If I won't get a mention for it at my funeral, it's probably worth procrastinating on.

This isn't lazy thinking. I have a strong desire for excellence in what I do. I believe my work effects people positively and that my family life is extra-ordinarily loving and happy. And to keep things that way, I'm happy to procrastinate on minor things that don't motivate me or find an alternative - such as the example of a cleaner.

When building CommunitySoul I became aware there were jobs I didn't like doing. I began to procrastinate on them and the whole business slowed down. I felt bad because I hadn't done something and that effected the things I was motivated to do, because I kept thinking about the other stuff.

Then I got smart. I started to find people who could do what I procrastinated on. More recently I've discovered that there are things I like doing and there are things I absolutely love doing. Now I find people who can do the things I only like doing so I can focus more effort on the things I absolutely love doing.

From today's article I hope you've got two things:

1.It's okay to procrastinate, if you are focusing on something more important

2.Find ways to alleviate yourself of the burden - find someone to do the things you procrastinate on

Love and best wishes

About the Author
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