When should you procrastinate?

It’s oft-repeated that there is no good time to procrastinate. Falling into the camp of overachievers myself, I once adhered to this ideology. Problem is...I’ve discovered there are some VERY good times to procrastinate. Have you also found this to be true? I have a few friends who are expert procrastinators, maybe a bit too extreme in my opinion. Still, I’ve learned quite a bit from them about the pros of procrastination. Instead of adopting an all-out procrastinator persona, I identified times when it’s more beneficial to procrastinate than to “get things done.” I like to think of it as deliberate procrastination, maybe because it sounds a bit more intentional.

Here are five times that are ideal for deliberate procrastination:

  • Before making a big decision - My dad always taught me to “sleep on it for at least a night” before making a big decision. I’ve always been thankful when I’ve done this, and I most often regret it when I don’t.
  • During serious life transitions - When we’re already making a lot of life changes, it’s a good idea to procrastinate on those decisions that can wait. I know, some of us like to get it all done at once, but it’s too easy to overlook the details when we overload our decision making brain.
  • After having a baby (whether you are the mom OR the partner) - This one hits home for me most right now, as I made a big budget blunder when I failed to do my research before making a gutsy move that upset my financial system. I was only two days postpartum when a financial decision came up that I could have procrastinate on…but didn’t. #lessonlearned
  • Before diving deeply into a project - Do some preliminary research to get a better idea of all that project will entail at the outset. Don’t wait till you are tangled up in the middle of the project before you do your due diligence. This is definitely one of my weaknesses, as prior bosses have told me at my annual reviews, so I’m still working on this one myself.
  • When it’s not on your top priority list - Wait till it does make your top priority list. Even if others are pressuring you to get it done because it’s on their priority list, keep your focus on those priorities that are most important to you right now. Maybe it will eventually make it into your priorities and maybe not. It’s best to wait and see.

[Tweet "I am choosing to procrastinate on purpose, and here's why."]

Your Turn: Do you ever see the need to deliberately procrastinate in your own life? If so, tell me when you choose to procrastinate or how you manage to procrastinate under outside pressure.