Is there an advantage to being a procrastinator? Most people believe procrastination is a shortcoming that leads to trouble. However, there is evidence surfacing of the hidden benefits of a certain type of procrastination in terms of creativity.
In his book, Originals, Adam Grant reveals insights into the link between creativity and procrastination in Chapter 4, Fools Rush In. While procrastination is mostly associated with laziness, it can also be defined as “waiting for the right time.” Adam writes that “Procrastination turns out to be a common habit of creative thinkers and great problem solvers.” The trick to meaningful procrastination is that one must start working on the project or problem in question first before setting it aside. Studies seem to show that leaving open loops active can spur original thinking as the mind slowly churns away on the project or problem in the background. This process may open up creative options that might not have been found if the situation was rushed. So the next time you feel procrastination setting in, it may be a sign that you are waiting for creative options to appear, in which case, procrastinate on!
“I didn’t need one ounce more of creativity and intelligence than I already was born with – the issue was where I was pointing it.” – David Allen