I have been chewing over the same blog post for a few weeks now, refining and refactoring it, adding links and more insights – only to realise it’s been a week and no post! Reality is this blog post has no deadline on it, there is no reason for the Panic Monster – who keeps me working in a consistently high performing state – to emerge and force a conclusion to the blog.
Before you dismiss me out of hand think about it. The world is divided into two types of people on the procrastination scale – those who do (procrastinate) and those who don’t. Then for those of us who do we too have another scale, mine, and I expect most Entrepreneur Procrastinators, is at the high performing end. To those who just procrastinate, I am very sorry and hope this blog post helps you by adding deadlines to your lives.
To explain – busy business owners have too much to do fullstop. The to do list just keeps growing and growing, no matter how much you cross off there is something to replace it – sounding familiar? For those of us who are procrastinators we put off doing the things on the list until the last minute they are due or immediately prior to a crisis / catastrophic event occurring should we delay any longer. Productivity wise this makes us high performing – we churn through work BUT we also drop things that just weren’t important after all too, meaning we also prioritise well while not in a timely manner.
Tim Urban has the best explanation on the basics of how a procrastinators brain works – where ever you sit on the continuum you should watch his Ted Talk. However he stops short of talking about the benefits of being a high performing procrastinator:
- Consistently Productive – For a start as described above we are consistently productive, the method of productivity may be flawed but we get a lot done. We prioritise based on deadline and do focus on what really matters often forsaking the small stuff that doesn’t.
- Good Decision Makers – We also make well informed decisions, one procrastination technique is to think things through from all angles, it delays the decision but in my defence I believe those decisions are well informed ones.
- Actively Agile – We break things down, the effect of delaying to the last possible minute forces us effective procrastinators to break our work down so we can deliver small chunks in between other urgent tasks, we are naturally turning Epics into User Stories without labelling the process.
In Tim Urban’s thesis a procrastinator elects to do the “easy and fun” stuff, forsaking the stuff that “makes sense” – my hypothesis, from a sample of 1, is that Entrepreneurs are always undertaking the stuff that makes sense, we just put it off as long as we can doing everything else that makes sense in the meantime. If you identify with this perhaps we have a sample larger than 1! let me know. Vic.
Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator