I ran across this concept of “Structured Procrastination” (click the the title) when I was researching laziness not too long ago. I think it’s an absolutely fascinating concept and I feel that I have implemented this by accident in the past. Specifically, my junior and senior years of high school. I had so much going on during those two years of my life. I was preparing for college auditions, gigging constantly, practicing, and all the regular high school work (which was a pretty low priority since I never particularly cared for school.) I was overwhelmed but somehow I managed all of it and managed it surprisingly well. As I mentioned, I think I got all this done by accidentally using this concept of “Structured Procrastination.”
Essentially, the concept is that you take the “negative” trait of procrastination and turn it into a “positive” trait that helps you get things done. This is done by prioritizing all of your tasks and getting the tasks that are lower down on the list in order to avoid the other ones. Eventually you cycle through all the tasks by avoiding the other ones and you have accomplished a lot.
Those last two years of high school I had so much work to do. So I think I subconsciously put off what was the scariest or ugliest piece of work at the moment and I would do other work. For instance, college essays were very tedious for me so I would work on my regular school work. Then finals came around and everything else seemed more appealing. And so on and so on. As tasks fluctuated in the priority list, they would all eventually get done. I am very proud of my accomplishments those two years of my life. I got into all the colleges I was really interested in, I got into the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, I had a lot of great gigs, maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school, and I still had time to spend with my friends and whatnot.
So, I guess the next step for me is to think about it and consciously implement “Structured Procrastination” into the practicing, business, and maybe even performance aspects of music. I’ll let you know how it goes. If anyone has had some success with this concept I’d love to hear about it.
Visit the link above (click the title) to read the article about “Structured Procrastination.” John Perry explains his concept better than I do. Apparently he won an Ig Nobel Prize for this concept.
Let me know what you think about this,