Structured Procrastination: There’s a name for it!

I have to do a quick coffee-break post for this one: Marc Abraham’s Guardian column (via the Improbable Research blog, from the people who bring you the Ig Nobel prizes).

Turns out a proper philosopher came up with a name for one of my so-called productivity techniques a while back: Structured Procrastination, doing one set of useful things as a way to avoid doing something “more important.”

All I can say is, it works for me.

5 Responses to “Structured Procrastination: There’s a name for it!”

  1. Who knew it had a real name? It works for me also. I often get lots of important things done while trying to avoid writing papers, doing year end statistics at work and paying bills. If I didn’t have these things which make me procrastinate, I probably would never clean my house!!!!!

  2. walt says:

    Ah yes. Time to vacuum, since I really should be…

    I need some huge overarching Really Important project (that I don’t care if it ever happens) so I can get everything else done while procrastinating on it. Heck, I thought Balanced Libraries might be that project, but it started to be fun…and got done pretty rapidly.

  3. I think the real problem is that if you don’t care if it ever happens it may not ever really happen (and thus, can’t be used for structured procrastination). I find it works best with projects that I get assigned by others – things that I don’t care as much about, but must get done (kind of like doing one’s taxes).

    If you couldn’t tell, I got a kick out of this one!!

  4. walt says:

    I did sort of gather that. Oddly enough, my current “procrastination target” is the kind of thing you do for procrastination–entering mini-essays/notes for C&I from a dozen magazines, probably taking 15 minutes each. But this weekend I have a firm deadline, and I never miss firm deadlines: Ask any editor. (Well, once–but with loads of warning.)

  5. vonjobi says:

    i know it as productive procrastination.

    i really should get moving. the paper is due on thursday. but here i am, commenting on your post.

    there. i’m feeling productive already. i think…