Our idea of productivity is completely flawed. A concept called time management is growing in popularity and many people are using it in an attempt to harness their time. The main problem with this is that we cannot alter time. We all have twenty-four hours in a day, but we are all trying to manage those hours so that it seems like we have more time.
Instead of trying to manage time we need to manage ourselves. Self management is the key to effective productivity.
What if I could convince you that procrastinating is one of our most effective productivity tools. Procrastinating on purpose actually opens the door to increased amounts of free time.
Rather than focusing on doing urgent tasks or important tasks we must focus on significant tasks. Urgency is how soon the task matters. Studying for a test that is tomorrow is an urgent task. Importance is how much the task matters. Doing a worksheet is not as important as studying for a quiz. Significance is where we gain progress in life. Significance is how long a task is going to matter. Significant tasks have large payoffs. Practicing for the SAT or ACT is extremely significant because our test scores have a large influence on our college plans.
We need to learn to multiply our time by doing significant tasks. This is where procrastination comes into play. If we truly want to have more time to do the things we love we have to purposefully put things off until later dates. This might sound like the opposite of what needs to be done, but procrastination is key.
When a task or project comes our way we must first see if it is really needed. Some things come to our attention, but really do not have significance. Those tasks can be eliminated. Other tasks seem significant, but we might not have time to do them or might not have the skill to do them. This is when we can delegate them to someone else. For instance, if you are assigned a project with a partner which includes doing research and writing a paper you can delegate the research to your partner in exchange for writing the paper. If it cannot be eliminated or delegated it can either be performed at that time or procrastinated to a later date.
Saying no to something today opens up so many possibilities to do other things while saying yes to one thing closes the door to so many possibilities.
Procrastinating on purpose may still seem strange so I will put it in other terms. There is a difference between putting something off because we do not feel like doing it now and putting something off because we have decided that now is not the right time to do it. Maybe patience is a better word. Rather than doing all of your tasks be patient and put some things off so that you have the time to do the most significant tasks that give you the biggest return on time you invested.