Procrastination is Good!? #BCSLearns

I just read an article that challenged my thinking and whose title made me say, “What?”  Procrastination is a virtue? I read, I contemplated, I reflected.  In the pace of today’s world, particularly within my professional life in schools, after reading this article, procrastination really makes sense.  Instead of hurrying and rushing projects, responses, decisions, etc., when I pause, slow down, collaborate and contemplate, creativity and innovation become the outcome for this patience, diligence and perceived procrastination.  In effect, “But while procrastination is a vice for productivity,” states New York Times OpEd editor Adam Grant in his article Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate, “I’ve learned — against my natural inclinations — that it’s a virtue for creativity.” So, this article got me thinking and researching a bit more about this notion of procrastination being a possible virtue, and, in a book by Rory Vaden Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply your Time, he suggests that everything we know about time management is wrong.  We need to think about time management as spending time on things today that will give us more time tomorrow. In fact, Vaden suggests, “there is no time management, only self-management.” In the video below “How to Multiply Your Time”, Vaden further advises us to…

  • Eliminate — the permission to ignore
  • Automate — the permission to invest
  • Delegate — the permission of imperfect
  • Procrastinate — the permission of incomplete
  • Concentrate — the permission to protect

And finally, let me lean on the research of a favorite of mine, Stephen Covey and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Think back to the third habit, Put First Things First, and Covey’s notion of time management using the four quadrants of the Eisenhower Method. Check out the image of the matrix below and reflect on where you spend your time – quadrant II is where we need to be! Then, view the classic 80s video of Covey talking about Big Rocks with his workshop participants – it’ll bring a smile to your face with both the content and the business attire!



6 thoughts on “Procrastination is Good!? #BCSLearns

  1. Pingback: “The Power of Introverts” #BCSLearns | Learn-Lead-Love

  2. Ross

    Most see procrastination as a negative thing. Simply “putting things off” …which ,any of us are guilty of. Normally people do this when the task at hand is difficult, long, unwanted etc. If we jump into decisions when faced with these tasks, will they be sound decisions or is it better to wait?! When dealing with children “the power of the pause” (possibly viewed as procrastination by some) is a very powerful tool. Good for both the adult to not make hasty judgements/decisions, and good for the student to have time to reflect as well.

  3. cemmi

    I have always struggled with procrastination and live in quadrant 1 of the chart. It is frustrating that we are surrounded by tools to allow us easy and quick access to communication and tasks yet we seem to be busier than ever. I really like what Rory Vaden is saying about the time management funnel and 3-dimentsional thinking of time management. I have seen Covey’s 2-dimensional chart before and can identify where certain tasks would go, but have never actually taken the time to use it. I don’t know if I ever would.

    Vaden adds the aspect of “how long will this task matter?” to the other two dimensions of importance and how urgent something is. With his funnel of time management, it utilizes the option of automating a task (investing the time now to save time later). I am just starting to see the benefit of this with things like managing bills and doing auto-pay on everything. Living in quadrant 1 of the Covey chart, it is very hard to find the time to invest initially in the automation of certain tasks, but in seeing the long-term results, I am able to justify investing that time upfront in more reoccurring tasks. One idea is having various emails already crafted for certain situations that occur throughout a year where you can change a few details to make it fit the exact circumstance. I often put off replying to or sending emails to parents because I know that crafting it perfectly will take upwards of 45 minutes for some situations.

  4. Anne

    I’ve battled with procrastination on an off. The longer I teach the more list/task oriented I become as a way of pacing the work load and avoiding that moment at the end of a deadline/quarter where stress level is at an all time high. On the other end there are instances that when I’ve procrastinated I’ve been able to make a better decision, or had more success with completing a task because there hasn’t been time to second guess the decision making. Based on the evidence above I can’t say that I am in favor of one mindset or habit over the other. Being ahead of the game has advantages as you have reserved time to put more thought into activities, lessons, assessments, emails that may be more time consuming. Taking care of business items that are less daunting such as replying to simple emails that don’t require an in depth response minimizes for me the likelihood of forgetting the email altogether.

    1. Vicki Lowery

      I agree with Anne that procrastination can work both for and against you. When I have many things to do, but then I put them off until a later time, I am often much more productive in the time crunch. There are also times, however, when this has worked against me. I do know that by pacing myself, and trying to keep up with tasks, I do feel better in the long run.

  5. Pingback: Guess What Drives Creativity? #BCSLearns | Learn-Lead-Love

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