Why Structured Procrastination Makes Hard Tasks Easier To Complete

Structured procrastination is the idea that you shift around your to-do list to tackle easier projects instead of the most important one. It’s an interesting approach to getting things done, and 99U has taken a look at why it often works.

Picture: Fabio Bruna/Flickr

We’ve previously talked about how turning your tasks into bite-sized snacks can help you get through them. The basic idea is that instead of turning to time-wasting activities online when you don’t want to work on your top priority, you reorganise your list to tackle a smaller task on your to-do list. You’re embracing your love of procrastination, but remaining somewhat productive. 99U explains why it works for some people:

[Y]ou are still playing the procrastinator’s game, in which the act of prioritising something at the top saps the impetus to start working on it. So, the mental trick is to regard other tasks as more important in order to make Very Important Task an easier choice.

Rank projects that seem quite significant yet have more flexible deadlines at the top instead like reorganising your workspace or learning a new technique. You’ll probably also find that there are newer Very Important Tasks that have joined your list, making that original one look all the more alluring.

Structured procrastination is about deceiving yourself by making your task list less horrifying to look at. It doesn’t change anything that you have to get done, and it plays to the strengths of procrastinators. If you really struggle with procrastination, it’s one way that makes the most important task on your list a little easier to actually start working on. Head over to 99U for the full explanation.

The Power of Structured Procrastination [99U]

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