Productive Procrastination

We all know the problem of procrastination. It happens when work is boring, or when one is stuck in whilst writing, designing or developing. Due to the current ‘bump in the road’, be it a problem, be it a decision that has to be made, one chooses to take on non-productive activities as away to cope with.

Personally, I don’t procrastinate in the classic sense of the word. Sure, I browse my usual blogs from time to time and open a YouTube clip sent to me via any form of communication, but most of the time I am not productive in the billable sense, it is because of ideas, tests, theories and discussions. On the one hand, it cuts down on my billable hours, yet I have found that in a broader spectrum it heightens the productivity in most tasks. It allows for different or better insights into the task at hand or tasks in the near future, and whilst not directly ‘productive’, it does improve the quality of the contextual productivity.

I have noticed that if you take on this ‘productive procrastination’ with a sense of discipline and rationality, it improves the general workplace and the creativity of the moment. Personally, I know I do not have the discipline-part fully in order, but I am getting there. Whenever you step out of the current process, you defocus your current targets and take on an unplanned, self-created side task, walk through these four points.

  1. Is this side task absolutely vital towards the current project?
    If yes, don’t even bother with the other questions. Do not lie to yourself!
  2. Is this useful towards the actual current task, or is this useful in a larger amount of projects?
    If this in any way tends to go to a larger amount of projects, take it on with full focus and leave it be for now.
  3. How much time will I take for this?
    Set a timer, remind yourself of priorities!
  4. When do I consider this side task as completed?
    If the terms of completion are even remotely complex, write it down and let it go.

When you follow these four points for 80% of the time you are procrastinating, you will only waste the other 20% as procrastination without any sense of structure, productivity and satisfaction.