All potential tasks can be put in three buckets. The first is your to-do list. This daily list should be highly prioritized to only a few critical items. Then you have the not-to-do list where you put things which should not waste your valuable time. Finally you have the waiting list. The waiting list is where you put things you wish to strategically delay. The waiting list should have critical problems which need deep reflection or tough decisions and tasks. These are important tasks which can be done later.
We have been told that procrastination is bad but recent studies show that some of the most creative people are terrible procrastinators. In his book called Originals, author Adam Grant presents a case for strategic procrastination. Deliberately delaying to complete a task has some benefit. It appears starting and delaying to complete a task allows our subconscious minds to find solutions to our problems. Our subconscious mind is way more powerful than our conscious mind. When we procrastinate we allow it to process the tasks on the waiting list. That’s why we have creative insights when we are sleeping or taking a shower. These insights are produced by our subconscious minds.
So procrastination is not so bad after-all. If we learn to use the to-do list, the not-to-do list and the waiting list we can really achieve a lot in our lifetimes.