Can Procrastination Be A Good Thing?

Stanford professor John Perry refers to himself as a procrastinator. He also considers himself to be adept at getting things done. His method is referred to as “structured procrastination,” which refers to avoiding the task at hand to do other work. For example, he might clean his garage rather than grading papers. This allows Perry to get things done even when he is not completing the task he originally set out to do.
One of the benefits of structured procrastination, Perry says, is that it allows him to not waste time aiming for perfection.
“When I get a new task, I often fantasize about doing it perfectly,” he said. “You set the bar so high in this first rush of enthusiasm, and then you look at the bar and say, ‘I’m not going to try to jump over that.’ And the procrastination permits you to lower the bar.”
Aiming for perfection is often a time-waster since you’ll spend so much energy trying to go over your project a million times. You’ll focus too much on getting every small detail right rather than simply finishing the project.
The secret is to make two to-do lists. One list says what you would like to accomplish this week or month. The other list says what you want to accomplish today. By switching between the two lists, it is possible to accomplish work even when avoiding one task.
Perry also advises you to re-arrange the to-do lists when needed and put seemingly urgent things on top of the lists. This way, procrastinators can work on smaller activities before tackling the bigger ones. Just be sure not to do anything last minute!

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