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January 25, 2016

Procrastination May Not Be A Bad Thing

 

It’s January. There are so many subjects to write about. A new year begs for some kind of change or clearing. It’s GO Month (Get Organized month) in the land of professional organizers. And the commentary on cleaning out our offices, closets, basements – you name it – is endless. To tell the truth, I’ve just not been feeling like I wanted to burden you with more tips about clearing your clutter. I think most of us know all the tips; we just have to wait until the spirit moves us to actually do something about our particular mess.

I have been waiting for a snow storm to trap me in front of my computer. I have been waiting for something that truly inspires me to write about….. I have been procrastinating!!!

My inspiration came last week in the form of an article in the Sunday New York Times Week in Review section. Titled “Step 1: Procrastinate”, it was written by Wharton School professor Adam Grant. I don’t usually get to reading this section of the paper until Wednesday, but I always feel like the universe brings us the inspiration when we’re ready to embrace it!

Having been a creative person all of my life, I loved finding out that there is actually scientific proof that if you tackle and finish a project too quickly, you may not have come up with your most innovative solution for the project. Yes, procrastination can be positive when it comes to being creative!!! The idea is that our first ideas are usually our most conventional ideas and may not be our best ideas. In the studies referenced in Dr. Grant’s article, it was only when people started work on the project, took a break and came back to it that they came up with their most creative solutions.

For those of you who are reading this and saying to yourself, does that mean I can put off doing my project until the last minute? I’m not sure that works. One study also had a third group who were assigned to wait until the last minute to begin their project. Waiting until the last minute actually hindered creativity. This group had to quickly use their easiest idea instead of coming up with the most creative one.

So when there’s a deadline on a particular project and you just can’t bring yourself to start, instead of beating yourself up for not beginning, keep in mind that moving a bit slower in your thinking might actually help. Your best ideas may be waiting for you to discover them when you’re doing the laundry — or even while shoveling snow!

 

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