Procrastination gets a bad wrap. It’s one of those words that carries the dark cloud of negative connotation over its very meaning. Yet, if we break the word down, notice something. It starts with the prefix, PRO.
Why does a negative word like procrastination start with such a great prefix???
Well, Wikipedia says this:
“The word has origin from the Latin procrastinatus, which itself evolved from the prefix pro-, meaning “forward,” and crastinus, meaning “of tomorrow.”
So, forward to tomorrow, not today. Also known as the big “let’s just put that off, AGAIN!” But what would it look like if we implemented Purposeful Procrastination?
Let’s run with that and test only 1 of your despicable tasks or chores.
Think about” it” for a moment. Why do you dislike it so much? Not important enough? Too mundane? Not creative? No ROI? You get it. It’s time to own why you dislike this thing.
Now, let’s run a mind filtering test:
Will you do the thing tomorrow or delay until tomorrow’s tomorrow?
Will you do the thing because you must; you have no choice?
Will the earth stop revolving on her axis if you don’t get it DONE?
Will you give in, and just do it?
Pass it off? Delegate that baby to someone else?
Put that thing in file 13 and never look back?
If you decide to put “your thing” off until tomorrow’s tomorrow again, then perhaps you want to give Purposeful Procrastination a try. Sounds better, right?
First, reframe your thoughts around procrastination and focus more on the prefix PRO. Try to mindfully stop associating negative thoughts around the word procrastination. Procrastination is no longer a dark, dreary cloud. Instead, embrace it as an opportunity to use your brain and critically assess the importance of the thing that you’ve been waiting to do on tomorrow’s tomorrow.
Let’s call it Purposeful Procrastination that leads to insightful prioritization!
If you can’t decide if you should do, delegate or delete the thing, then recycle the task, chore or idea. Caveat? You must place a time limit on the number of times you allow yourself to recycle.
What do I mean by recycle? Give this dreaded thing a chance for new life, a chance to be worthy of your time, but, before you do, it must pass the recycle test.
What could happen if you chose not to do this task/chore?
What could happen if you didn’t implement your idea?
What could it look like if you actually let someone else do what you’ve been putting off?
What if you ditch it all together? Put it in file 13?
What are the consequences?
Keep in mind, the recycling process is quick, so don’t put it off!
Think about a conveyor belt relaying your dreaded task by your minds’ eye. It quickly passes through each category of do, delegate, delete and/or recycle, but if you choose to recycle, do so only once more. Make a decision quickly, on the spot. Don’t overthink it.
If you can’t decide to recycle the thing and give it one more chance to turn into an opportunity, keep in mind that the conveyor belt is moving faster the second time around. This time it cycles through much faster because tomorrow’s tomorrows only last but for so long.
Will your dreaded thing change from its current state to become a recycled opportunity?
Regardless of your choice, when you reframe procrastination and focus on its pros you will find that once in a while, putting off purposefully makes tomorrow’s tomorrow worth the delay.