The Upside Of Procrastination

by Bob Walsh

Dr. John Perry recently published an article about the good things of being a procrastinator.

We usually think of procrastinating as a negative thing – but Dr. Perry makes a point of pointing out the positives.

He does say for example that procrastinators are often very productive and creative, and also amiable personalities.

He gives some interesting advice, interesting particularly because it runs counter to the commonly shared advice for procrastinators:

First, don’t listen to most of the advice offered to procrastinators by people who don’t have this particular flaw. For example: “Keep your commitments to a minimum, so you won’t be distracted.” This is a way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being. If a procrastinator doesn’t want to work on something, it won’t help to have nothing else to do. It’s better to have lots of things to do, so you can work on some of them as a way of not doing the task that, for whatever reason, you seek to avoid.

This is pretty good advice, because procrastinators really can get things done and reducing the number of commitments can turn a procrastinator into a lazy bum.

Second, don’t sit around feeling bad because you lack willpower. That will make you a depressed procrastinator but won’t help you get anything done. Most of us lack all kinds of powers. I can’t lift my car by the bumper in order to change a tire. That’s what jacks are for. I can’t add long columns of figures in my head. That’s what calculators are for. Tools give us the ability to make up for what we lack in native powers. The procrastinator has tools that allow him to manipulate himself to achieve results he can’t get with willpower alone.

That’s very tree, and I’ve written about why willpower isn’t enough to stop procrastinating in the past too.

But ultimately, he also admits that procrastination is a flaw (despite the benefits it has) and that he hopes to overcome it one day. And he knows a thing or two about procrastination, after all, he’s the author of a new book called How to Be a Better Procrastinator.

And if you feel the same way – if you wish stopping procrastination was easier, then read this.