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The Art of Deliberate Procrastination

By Catherine Pope

January 20, 2020


If you’re anything like me, you’ve already thought of at least 300 projects for this year. They’re all exciting ideas and there’s no way we want to miss out on them. But unless we can defy the laws of physics, they just aren’t going to happen.

I’m indebted to Shane Melaugh of ActiveGrowth for introducing me to the idea of Deliberate Procrastination. With this simple concept, we make a conscious decision to not do something at the moment. We’re saying not right now, rather than never. This frees up our time and headspace for the projects we should be pursuing. When we’re distracted by shiny object syndrome, we end up with lots of unfinished projects and an overwhelming sense of frustration. Your idea will only make you money once you’ve launched it.

Keeping a list of our deliberate procrastinations means there’s no chance of us forgetting them. If you use a tool like Evernote (which is my second brain), you can collect useful material relating to your future projects and link them to the list. Those tantalising projects are usually lurking at the back of my mind, but they’re not allowed to take over. I know everything is there for me when I’ve finished my current priority. I won’t pretend this is easy – the next project is always the most exciting and it’ll involve none of the problems we’ve faced in the current project – but it’s the only way to get things done.

Maybe it’s time to start making some plans for 2021?

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