The Art of Procrastination

Right now there are a number of tasks that I’m avoiding. If I were to examine all of these tasks I would notice they have in common one thing, which is a sense of dread around them. I can schedule time in my calendar for any of these tasks and I’ll still find ways to avoid the most overwhelming ones. For me procrastination is inevitable. So, I’ve learned to stop fighting it and to instead embrace it.

I’ve given myself permission to avoid my most overwhelming task with one caveat, I can only avoid that task if I do another task that I typically avoid but at the moment doesn’t feel as overwhelming.

So, for example, I’ve been wanting to write a blogpost for a while but writing in general is something I procrastinate from. But today, as I write this, I have a much more overwhelming task to do, which makes writing this blogpost much easier to do.

The art of procrastination is using the dread around a particularly overwhelming task to fuel productivity towards less overwhelming tasks and ultimately become more productive than I usually am.

And here is where the magic happens, when I complete a task that I was once procrastinating from, now matter how small, a chemical reward explodes in my brain saying, “well done.” And now that I've rope toed into that chemical wave I'll keep riding it all the way to shore until I have nothing left to do but that first thing I've been procrastinating from.

Sure, I still have that thing, but otherwise I was a productivity wizard.


Jonathan Collins resides in Portland, OR with his wife and two sons. He is a co-founder of EpipheoSincerely Truman and The Bible Project. He enjoys turning ideas into realities, writing, speaking and breakfast burritos.

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