Writer’s are good at wasting time.
But I don’t want to be good at wasting time. I want to be good at procrastinating!
Today I found a meme informing me that a lovable kids’ cartoon character is by choice a virgin, not-asexual, and perfectly content with it. This, as it didn’t help me get any writing done, was a waste of time. Procrastinating is different. So let’s talk about it.
No, not cartoon characters being…procrastinating.
But hold on, hold on–this isn’t a how-to-stop-procrastinating-altogether thing. I’m not here to tell you you’ve been naughty and get your head on straight. No, no, no, no, no. No. Procrastinating is widely looked down upon, something that is a sign of laziness. Or outright stupidity. Procrastinating is viewed on par with being lazy–wasting your time. I know because people have told me this in my life. A lot. But some see it differently.
In a Business Insider interview, Adam Grant talks about how his book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, refers his readers to the ancient Egyptian definition of procrastination: “waiting for the right time”. The article goes on to say, “…once we finish a task, we stop thinking about it — but when it’s interrupted and left undone, it stays active in our minds. Procrastinating strategically means stopping whatever creative tasks we’re working on before they’re complete to allow more creative ideas to bubble up.”
I agree that some minds, particularly creative ones, don’t always go where they’re instructed to. When I force myself to do something, it rarely results in my best effort. But if you indulge it–responsibly–you can keep the flame going long enough to eventually steer a full head of steam into what you need to do. For example, I lost some steam writing this, put it away partly finished for two day, then finished and edited it to sweet, sweet perfection.
Now–without further ado…
Next time you need to feel good about procrastinating, listen to my podcast Creative Ops. It’s a podcast for creative people, by creative people. I talk to business owners, writers, farmers, artists, and more. Find out who they are and what they have to say about the creative process. The show is produced by Hey Guys Media, and sponsored by River Town Adventures & Baby Farm Soaps. All three of these businesses are locally-owned, with products AND people worth supporting! Please check em out.
That’s it, that’s all I got. Hopefully, next time you’re feeling a wave of distraction, this helps you ride it, not drown under it.
Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? HIGH FIVE!