Making the Case for Procrastinating (No Seriously!)

It’s funny, growing up I was not a procrastinator. As a student-athlete involved in one too many activities, I pretty much couldn’t be if I intended on keeping good grades. But a funny thing happened when I graduated, all of a sudden a lot of the “goals” I had in life didn’t have deadlines. Instead, I realized that waiting until the timing was right or, better yet, I was completely ready and in the right mindset was more often than not the best way to go. Maxie makes the case on why this kind of procrastination is just fine!!

heart-and-arrowMaking the Case for Procrastinating (No Seriously!)

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

There are many reasons that we delay getting things done. Or why we wait until the last minute. I’m pretty sure we’ve been told from the time we were all little nuggets not to do that. No one wants to be the person up all night before a big presentation or report is due.
However, sometimes we procrastinate on more than just the menial things. Sometimes we procrastinate on our big wishes, the giant dreams, and that’s precisely the procrastination I want to make the case for.
Last year I had big plans to get a book proposal written, pitched, and hopefully a book deal happening… like ASAP. I did the first round of the book proposal and began conversations that would take it further. And then, I found myself doing nothing with it. Like nothing. For months. About eight months to be exact. And every week that went by I told myself, I should really re-work this and start sending it out again. I should really sit down to write. I’m really going to do it this month. No really. But I kept procrastinating.
However, when I did sit down, all of the new writing I needed flowed out of me. The pieces came together. Major stars had aligned to make it wayyyyy better than if I had forced myself to do it any earlier. And that situation reminded me recently of a lesson I’ve long known…that sometimes procrastination does pay off. Here’s why:
Things are on the backburner for a reason…
Maybe you want to update the look of your blog, or there’s a new a job you want or something you’ve wanted to write for a while… if it’s been on the back burner that’s OK. It might be that it’s back there simmering until something shifts so that you can make the right decision or see the right path for the best possible outcome.
It hasn’t clicked for you yet…
Lots of times when we’re procrastinating on something it’s because we don’t have all the right pieces in place. Trust that maybe there’s a piece of information missing, or a person who’s supposed to help it all click. You’ll know that your procrastination was worth it as soon as it all comes together. And it will.
Forcing is never best…
Whenever you try to force something, it’s just not enjoyable. How about letting it be easy on yourself by doing it when you’re darn ready. And speaking of ready…
You’ll know when you’re ready…
You will. You will absolutely know when you’re procrastinating out of fear versus delaying it because something doesn’t feel right or is missing. As soon as you feel that shift to being ready, GO. It’s time, and you’ll know it.
This isn’t a case for doing nothing and never moving the needle forward. However, if you’re sitting on something because you know it’s not ready or you’re not ready, quit beating yourself up. Letting it go will ensure that you get back to the table of action when all the pieces are there. (But remember, it’s never going to perfect even if you are ready!).
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Jess Zimlich

This is such an important sentiment! It’s funny, because I am Type-A to my core, but I’ve learned over the years that I do my best writing when time is of the essence. As much as it has pained me, I’ve learned to release the reigns a bit and stop forcing something that isn’t going to happen early.


Where did you get the darlinf notebook (sheet of paper?) that is in the picture? I need something like this to keep me on track for day to day items?

Jen Kessler

Love this! I call this, “letting tomorrow worry about itself”. 🙂 In my line of work, projects come and projects go and I find myself often getting caught up in trying to make sure I have projects lined up by the time other projects fall off but the timing is wrong if I’m too far ahead and it can feel freaky letting it go and waiting for the right time but it definitely needs to happen! Great post, Maxie!