There is procrastination, and then there is procrastination. One of the most insidious forms is, “I need to do this first, to get ready.” Theoretically, this is all productive work. It is us getting prepared and focussed. We are making sure we have our ducks in a row, and we are committed, ready and able to do our best work. Practically, we are in many ways avoiding the thing that we say we want to do most. It doesn’t have to be that way.
“Why?” is undeniably a powerful question. But we often think about our why in grandiose, abstract terms. We tend to emphasize the philosophical rather than the practical. And yet, at its core, “Why?” is the most practical question that you can ask. And the one you always need to be prepared to answer. Don’t tell people what to do, or how to do it. Instead, get them excited about the why, the way it makes a difference, no matter how prosaic and simple the task at hand might be.
I have a confession to make. I abandon books. I used to read them all the way through, and now I often give them up part way. A spate of articles recently challenged me to question the practice, and whether I should doggedly keep reading.
On the very good days, we can be exceptionally creative and productive. On the bad days, we can’t even spell ‘productive,’ let alone use it coherently in a sentence. What we know about engagement and procrastination, and what we need to keep in mind.