Focused Procrastination

Chalkboard with Later

A while back, I wrote about serial tasking. The flip side of this approach is focused procrastination. Together they make up different parts of the same strategy.

As a thinking, sentient agency in the world, it is important to realize the following about your actions:

  • All activities are choices. You decide who to see, where to go, what to do, and how to do it.
  • All activities contain an opportunity costs. When you choose to pursue Task A, you sacrifice the ability to work on Task B at that moment (and occasionally, forever).

Focused procrastination occurs when you purposely delay taking action on low value tasks (e.g. watching TV) in order to work on higher level ones (e.g. spending time talking with your family). Items that are targets for focused procrastination should always be placed at the very bottom of a ranked to-do list. Some of these tasks do need to be done, eventually, by yourself or someone else, and will get completed when the time is right. Others never require any action whatsoever and will quietly disappear.

Focused procrastination will increase the available time you have for powerful action and decrease the amount of guilt or stress in your life that is due to reflecting on low quality tasks as ‘time wasting’ mistakes.