In defence of procrastination

The Latin for tomorrow is cras.

Till next day is crastinus.

Pro is forward.

Add them all together and procrastination’s wordy origin means something like “forward till tomorrow”.

That’s neutral.  But I definitely grew up thinking procrastination was always a bad thing.

It often is.

But not always.

I asked earlier how many types of procrastination there are.  I don’t know the answer.  But perhaps the types can be divided into two camps – the bad and the good.

We’re all familiar with the bad type – just putting something necessary off because it’s unsavoury.  E.g., not ending a relationship because the conversation to do so will be very difficult. Not trying to quit the smokes because of the anticipated withdrawal symptoms,.  Not addressing a problematic employee because of those awkward “HR” conversations.  Not standing up in time to an overly-demanding client.  Etc…

But the good news is that there is good procrastination too.  Did you ever wake up with a solution to an issue that was occupying you the previous day?  That happens with most people.  It would appear that our sleep, in some magical way, can sort stuff out.  Perhaps the subconscious is doing its stuff.  But here’s the thing, you can plan that.  You can deliberately procrastinate on brainstorming solutions – to see what your brain can come up with overnight.

So there’s one good type.

And here’s another.  Don’t waste time making a decision now that won’t be acted on till the future.  Why?  Because events can happen between now and that future that could cause the decision to need to be revisited.

An example: A client recently was looking to prioritise what prospects to contact in what order.  But he also needed to respond to outstanding quote requests that he already had – quote requests that he was later delivering than he’d like.  With my urging he timed out on the prospecting so as to concentrate on the quoting.  And the success or otherwise of the quoting might well would help inform his prospecting, e.g., through showing that one vertical produces a higher conversion rate than another.

That’s the sort of stuff I do with accountability clients.  It’s not me just being a dumb receptacle for their tasks.  (Though such minimal accountability would still be useful to them.)  I also assess their planned tasks and respond quickly with what I think of them.  Sometimes they’re kicked down the road (correctly).  Sometimes they’re made SMARTer.  But the main thing is that they’re closely examined by my good self.

Me thinks that that would help you!  How about we have a conversation.  Book a 15 minute slot for us to talk – we’ll quickly determine firstly if it’s right for you and, secondly, if you and I are a good fit.