Conscious Procrastination – Friend or Foe?

Procrastination is often the death knell for high performance teams. However, Conscious Procrastination can be an effective tool if practiced as a governor against making precipitous decisions.  Contrary to what you might have been taught,  hesitating might be judicious, smart, and prudent behavior.

When you consciously procrastinate, it is important to create parameters:

1st – Give yourself a deadline for when you will begin the project.  No wiggle room allowed.

2nd – Inform others who might have a high sense of urgency that you are assessing the optimum approach and that you will have something for them to evaluate (on a given date).

3rd – Create a list of reasons why you’re avoiding the task. Knowing the truth of why you’re evading a task is invaluable. Is the root cause uncertainty as to how to proceed or does the project’s foundation have a hairline flaw that needs to be addressed before moving forward?

4th – Create a sounding board of at least one other person with whom you can hash out a project’s potential problems.  This will help hold you accountable, as well as opening up the possibility of innovative ideas.

  • This week, instead of just plowing forward, take a pause and evaluate what projects would benefit from a little more reflection and broader input.
  • Seek out people who might be opposed to your approach. The objections they raise may well be the very safeguards that you need to consider and employ.


By Clyde C. Lowstuter


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Debbie

    Thanks for the practical tips. One of my favorite books on the subject of focus and reflection is: 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman.

    1. Clyde Lowstuter

      Debbie – Thanks for your comments and the tip. I looked at Peter’s book and it looks like it is filled with practical commonsense tactics – which is my approach as well. In fact, I just bought a copy. I encourage others to check it out.

      Warm regards – Clyde

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