I have a disease and I am ok with it. I call it “Procrastivity.” Procrastivity is defined as “significantly enhanced productivity achieved through intelligently and creatively applying intentional procrastination.” This is me on as a deadline approaches…my pulse quickens…the ideas are exploding in my head…the great ideas are coming fast and furious…I am able to organize and make sense of it all. Up until the final hours of the deadline my creative juices are at a standstill. But then a switch is flipped and I am highly creative.
I laugh when I am preparing for a work project with a friend of mine, she has it planned weeks in advance and takes hours of planning. Where I sit an hour before and get it all done. This is a skill that needs to be mastered. Not everyone can do it. I started perfecting it in college. As an English major I had to read a lot of books and write a lot of papers. My final semester I took 21 credits and was planning a wedding and applying to law school, procrastivity was my friend. I could not have done it all without that skill.
People wonder how I can get so much done, it is because of my procrastivity. Oh yeah, you are thinking to yourself that you have it as well! I also believe it can be inherited. I know my youngest son has it. He is often working on projects the last minute just like me. I don’t yell at him and I don’t become frustrated, I get him. My husband on the other hand doesn’t understand and becomes frustrated with our ways. He is a meticulous planner and gives great attention to detail.
But here are my tips if you want to see if you are a procrastivity person:
Be confident. Know that you will do a great job and knock the project out of the park. Don’t doubt yourself, this is the time to know that what you are creating is fantastic!
Start small. My advice is to not test and see if you have this skill when you have an important deadline. Do not set yourself up for failure. Give yourself the space to try it bit by bit on smaller projects.
Do not have other people relying on you. You can not do this if you are working with people who need you to get your work done in order for them to complete their task. This will drive your coworkers to have a strong dislike for you. Particularly the planners out there like my husband.
Tune out all distractions. I can not be worried about what is for dinner during this time. I am hyper focused on my project. The door to my office is closed. My Facebook account is shut down and my phone ringer is off. I can not be pulled away when I am in this enhanced productivity state.
Create pretend deadlines. When I know I need to get a project done that has no deadline I will create pretend deadlines. Because I work for myself I don’t always have deadlines that a boss sets. But rather I am the boss and I know to move a project forward I need to create that mythical deadline to get my creative juices going.
If after reading this you are thinking I may be a bit bizarre to think that I can function like this. Guess what? You are not a procrastivity person and I suggest you don’t try it. You will not like it.
It is my hope that I have created some understanding out there. I do not procrastinate because I am lazy, but rather the opposite is true. I am able to be more productive because I am intentional with my procrastination. So if you have a child like me, and they are getting good grades and waiting until the last minute, be ok with it.
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing
Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!