Why is it good to procrastinate

“Yawn, I slept late, I’ll wake up early and start workout from tomorrow – that’s a promise”

“I’m too tired today, let me watch Netflix and read that book tomorrow”

Does this sound familiar? Tribe knowledge has it that procrastination is bad and it signifies laziness. While procrastination could be harmful, it also has some amazing benefits if you are in the knowledge industry

Firstly, let’s clear the air here, procrastination is not laziness

Laziness is not doing anything aka signifying inactivity, while procrastination is doing Y in the place of X

Before we get into the details, let us understand another concept called “The Last Responsible Moment” (aka LRM) very often used in Agile

It is recommended that decisions are delayed until the cost of not taking the decision outweighs the cost of taking the decision

In other words, defer taking a decision until it is absolutely necessary. The logic is that, many a times, products need to be pivoted on the run and decisions at the earliest possible moment may become detrimental

So how does procrastinating to the last responsible moment help?

1. Ruminating over an idea

When you know that a decision needs to be taken at a later point of time, that decision would be playing at the back of your mind. Although you aren’t actively thinking, at a subconscious level, you would be processing information. This will help in providing a more balanced decision

Innovation does not emerge out of the blue; they simmer, boil and get cooked deep down the cervices of your subconscious brain and surfaces when the environment is favourable

2. Pivoting based on priorities

As we discussed earlier, sometimes things change or what is important today, may not be so important tomorrow. Your plans on growth targets may suddenly change to Cx targets. A heavy investment on achieving the growth targets taken earlier may backfire, if you suddenly had to pivot to a different target

3. Discover better ways of implementation

If you are in a fast changing environment, procrastinating to the LRM may help you exploit innovations or processes which others discover. This is similar to the old fable, where the cunning fox asked the lion to lead the pack of animals escaping the forest fire; when the lion got caught in a trap, the fox asked the tiger to lead the way and so on, until the fox was the only animal to escape without getting caught

4. Logical decision

Putting a decision to the LMR, also has the added advantage of not allowing your emotions to dictate your mind. You would have got enough time to analyse your emotions & think through and not be rushed into decisions

Most modern knowledge isn’t modern, LMR or procrastination seems to be pretty close to the saying

Cross the bridge when you come to it – no sooner nor no later

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