A few weeks back, I published an essay about this concept of structured procrastination.
Here are some quotes from the interview:
“Structured procrastination is the idea that you can do a lot of these small tasks in place of the large tasks that you are procrastinating, because your mind doesn’t want to have to think about that larger one,” Gonen tells NBC News BETTER.
“When you’re procrastinating in your mind you’re kind of blocking out that one thing you don’t want to have to worry about,” says Gonen. “In the meantime, some people can distract their mind by watching Netflix or a variety of ways, but if you can reprogram that so you’re actually distracting your mind by working on other things that are still valuable, then you can get a lot done really quickly.”
For example, if Gonen is overcome with dread at the idea of homework, he’ll preoccupy himself with what he calls “quick wins” — sending emails and writing articles for his blog.
“It’s still procrastinating my homework, but instead of doing nothing in the meantime, I’m still getting a lot done,” he says.
Gonen, who attends Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, refers to to this procrastination time as “power hours.”
Once he gets through these smaller to-do’s, Gonen can more easily get into the mindset of tackling his homework.
“A lot of these tasks that aren’t particularly fun or aren’t particularly productive, if you can really knock them out really quickly over a certain period of time, then you can get a lot more done and it doesn’t feel necessarily worse — you’re just working 100 percent on whatever you’re working on,” Gonen says.
Also published on Medium.