Today I took my concept of productive procrastination to the next level: I barely wrote anything for the article that is due in a week, but I managed to finish two presentations that are due shortly after.

In creative jobs, it is difficult to refrain from procrastination:

  • The task at hand might be too complex, i.e., your brain still needs time to decompose it in a set of simple tasks.
  • You might feel you are heading the wrong direction, i.e., your brain still needs time to seek and consider alternatives.
  • You experience alarm fatigue, i.e., your brain is tired of dealing with urgent tasks and prefers important tasks.
  • You might be tired, i.e., your brain can only deal with less challenging tasks right now.

Whatever the cause, instead of wasting a whole day at the office hanging out on Facebook or reading unimportant news, I prefer to take up some less urgent tasks, that slowly leads towards a goal. This includes:

  • Brainstorming: It is so much easier to write keywords or semi-sentences in a random order, and it gets you one step closer to full sentences.
  • Reading or using low-energy moments to get inspired.
  • Hacking: Getting applied insight and inspiration by taking a buzzword and doing a hands-on tutorial.

At any rate, at the end of a day I leave the office smarter, more inspired or with one step closer to the goal, and certainly without a feeling of guilt.

… and now back to writing up on that article.