Positive Procrastination

Sometimes when you have a task in front of you that you don’t really want to do, you put it off by watching TV, playing video games, taking a walk, or some other leisure activity. You get lazy and you procrastinate.

But sometimes people do what I like to call “positive procrastination,” where they avoid the task at hand by doing something else valuable. They don’t want to draft that report, so they clean their home. They don’t want to fix the front door, so they clear out work emails. The guilt competes with the laziness, and you justify putting off the main task by saying that at least you’re doing something.

Here’s the thing – I love this!

There are a few reasons I love this. First, when you have more than one thing to do, doing literally anything is good. It’s all got to get done eventually, so at least you’re making progress instead of wasting time.

But perhaps more importantly, there’s a second reason I love this: positive procrastination can be very directional for us. If you’re constantly avoiding a certain task by engaging in a different one, then the chances are very high that you would be much happier if you restructured your life around the task you want to do.

If every time you should be working on a new logo design you instead go tune your car’s engine, then maybe you should consider switching from a graphic designer to a mechanic. Listen to your brain!

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