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Thoughts on Good and Bad Procrastination

I have just come across an article written in 2005 about Good and Bad Procrastination. Essentially procrastinating by ignoring errands to get on with the big questions or tasks like an absent-minded professor shouldn't always be considered a bad thing.

Getting on with errands can feel good and productive but mean that you don't actually push forward and build new things. Letting bills go unpaid or the garden to become overgrown may be a price worth paying if you are in the zone and can get on with the big things.

Initially I thought that this goes against thing like Getting Things Done, but the more I think about it, they might not be exclusive. One of the features of GTD is to work on the most important tasks that you can at this point. If you can work on the big things, you should. But it you are unable because you have already been interrupted or are stuck, GTD will provide a system to prioritise the tasks you can do.

The final set of questions really do hit home:

What are the most important problems in your field?
Are you working on one of them?
Why not?

It is very easy to come up with answers to the last question. But the more I think about them, the more they seem like excuses.

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