Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NPR - Procrastination

Everywhere you read they will tell you procrastinatiion is a bad personal trait, and they'll go on to teach you how do overcome procrastination, to rid yourself of this habit. And while I won't disagree it's a bad trait when it's important or critical, like a life threatening decision or action, I will argue it's also a good trait to have. Why?

Ever notice when people rush into things and find themselves in a mess and find people criticisizing them for being too quick. "You should have waited.", is often the remark while trying to keep from using the word dumb or stupid. We've all been there and all heard those words and comments. And either we beat ourselves up mentally for it or just brush it off and ignore our own habit of being too quick.

I rarely do that. I'm a good procrastinator, sometimes even approaching greatness. And over the years I've found procrastination has some benefits, and even is better than deciding or acting. Really?

Well, for one, as people say procrastination will cost you money for not buying something when you should have or it was affordable, they forget you didn't spend the money in the first place and saved the whole amount than any later in time. And time proved you really didn't need it after all. You adjusted and adapted to not having it.

And sometimes everyone will tell you that you should do something and you didn't and don't. You simply continued on as you were doing to find it didn't hurt you live and you're still living. You may have missed some new experience or something gained from the new experience, but you're still standing and living, and while you may not have had that experience, you did learn what you missed and what you did gain by not doing it.

In addition when faced with a serious decision that isn't time critical or dependent, procrastination can give you one thing make a decision wouldn't, time. Procrastination will give you time to research and think more about the issue, the choices, the consequences and yourself. That sometimes is the better decision, simply no decision.

In the end, procrastination is a choice you have, and sometimes it is the best one among the choices. Procrastination does take practice, knowing when to use it, and patience, something it automatically does, slow you down. And that's not a bad thing, especially as bad as many people say procrastination is.

And as a longtime practiioner, it works for me.

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