I stumbled upon this term, coined by John Perry, and immediately fell in love.
Not only did I finally have a name for how I lived amazingly enough it included the s-word.
A word I’d never dreamed would be applied to the way I conduct my life.
At first, applying the words to the way I approach my To Do list, the seven syllables seemed an oxymoron.
How can one possess structure (which typically ensures success) and procrastinate (which intimates nothing is ever completed)?
Now that I’d been given words to capture it, however,one glance at my daily list, provided full explanation how:
Allow me to back up.
I create a work To-Do list each morning (my general life list is far longer).
The list includes my most important tasks and has become something I do instinctively each day.
After researching Perry’s approach to procrastination, I discovered he recommends what I’d done all along:
Create a daily To-Do list.
Place an item at the top which sounds important (but really may not be) and which appears to have a deadline (but really doesn’t).
My list is structured precisely like that.
- I start each day’s To Do’s with a bucket list item (something important but only to me).
- I begin each days To Do’s with an item which feels deadline’y (yet in reality only needs to be done before my demise).
Not only does this list structuring (unlike Perry I’d also say it applies to life-structuring) work—it’s made me more successful.
3 Ways Structured Procrastination Works For Me:
1. No one knows (and you’re not telling, right?). People, clients, bosses think I kick ass and take names. I get a lot completed in a day, BUT rarely finish my ever-present, always looming first list item. No one else “on my list” knows this fact. 99.9% of the time my #1 item has nothing to do with them.
2. I do finish a lot. I can do more in a day filled with procrastination than many can do in…a longer period of time. I nail deadlines. I finish projects early. I’m productive with regards to many things each day—as long as we’re not focused on my ever-present first list item.
3. It sparks me to say YES! I am your go-to woman when it comes to last minute tasks and clients realize this. If a project requires quick turnaround they know to reach out to me. They aren’t aware it’s because I harness the power of structured procrastination, but as long as they aren’t my list item #1 my work is completed in a swift and thorough fashion.
It’s no understatement to say structured procrastination is how I’ve found success working for myself and from home.
For me work-day procrastination never means doing nothing.
It means I’m choosing to move doooown my task list and tackle other items when it feels as though #1 is really what I “should” be doing.
Structured procrastination motivates me to do things I’d not be inspired to start otherwise if I there weren’t the big looming scary to me #1 at the top of my list.
A #1 which I’m actively avoiding.
A #1 which has tricked my brain (for real. I didn’t realize any of this till discovering the phrase.) into not procrastinating at all.
this was written in the name of avoiding my #1
Interesting concept and approach huh?
And yet one I cannot spend too much time pondering lest I disturb the precarious (and serendipitous) structured procrastination balance works so well for me.
- Have you heard of structured procrastination?
- Is this something you’ve also unknowingly used to motivate yourself?