It’s a new year, so you’re going to be bombarded with advice about how to finally achieve what you really want during this spin around the sun.
A lot of that advice will invariably be focused at defeating the procrastination that keeps you from taking the action you want. But the truth is, procrastination doesn’t need to be “defeated” or eliminated from your life.
What you really need to do is to take your procrastination game to a higher level. Stick with me on this one.
Choosing what to do right now
Procrastination is simply doing something other than what you need to be doing. You’re choosing to take a different action instead of the task or activity that you know is more important — like cleaning your andirons instead of writing your novel.
Hey, your fireplace probably is a nasty mess. And there’s an endless list of other things that need doing all around you, if you’re paying attention. These are valid tasks, not just distractions.
You’re never going to do all those things, though, because ultimately they’re not as important as the novel, or getting to the gym, or learning a new skill that furthers your career.
So it’s the other valid tasks that you should procrastinate on while you prioritize what matters and instead do that.
Procrastinate with purpose
Yes, it’s a nifty little mind trick to tell yourself that although your sock drawer is in desperate need of rearrangement, you’ve got to put it off to do something aligned with your greater life purpose. You’ll get to the socks later.
On the other hand, if you consciously bring to mind your sense of life purpose while bingeing Seinfeld (again), you might instantly experience the dread that you’re wasting your life on a show about nothing.
In both cases you’re really just being mindful of what’s important to you instead of hiding from it. That uncomfortable voice that tells you you’re not behaving with purpose becomes your biggest ally.
By paying close attention to what you choose to do in the moment, you realize that there are things that you should be putting off until later. That’s the kind of procrastination that lets the important things bubble up and get done.