ProdPod: Episode 22 — Defining procrastination

Sometimes, it’s all in how you define an unproductive behavior that starts to build new, productive behaviors.

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The first accepted definition is procrastination being a lack of motivation leading to non-action. The second common definition of procrastination is the putting off till tomorrow what you can do today. The third, lesser known and my personally-accepted definition, is the doing of lesser-priority activities instead of doing higher-priority activities. Therefore, procrastination is a supplanting of activities, delaying activities of higher importance as a by-product; not laziness, not lack of motivation, and not lacking in self-efficacy.

Normally I would say that asking yourself why you’re thinking a particular way would be the first step to conquering any unproductive behavior; however, this is an exception to that as I think you shouldn’t think one more minute about why you procrastinate and stop defining procrastination as a character trait. Banish the term “procrastinator” and the statement “I’m a procrastinator” from your vernacular. It’s a behavior and behaviors can change by building new, productive behaviors. 

Heck, procrastination can be positive; for example, doing a high priority activity when the right energy, emotion or competence is not available can be detrimental. Doing the lower-priority activities during those times can be the best use of your time.

I’ll have many more episodes on conquering and finding balance with procrastination, and I wanted to set a good definition in place for the context of managing procrastination and, ultimately, your productivity.