A procrastinator will sleep his full hours and then will wake up for a coffee while watching the doves dangle on sagging electrical lines. He will gather his presentation for his speaking engagement in the last 30 minutes. After all, he only needed half an hour of preparation.
A planner will take the night to assemble his speech and materials. He will practice and anticipate possible circumstances to attempt control over the impending situation. Once all is polished, he will then rest and calm himself as everything is well-managed.
Is one strategy better than the other?
There is greatness in procrastination. The National Sleep Foundation argues that the workplace loses $18 billion worth of productivity due to sleepiness. A period of relaxation is requisite to optimal functionality of our own selves. Doing after resting is productive.
Social psychologists Dianne Tice and Roy Baurmeister studied how procrastinations affected college students. Those who procrastinated experience higher stress levels than those who didn’t. The time off balances the deadline scare.
But the door is slammed on procrastinators many times. Researcher Piers Steel called procrastination an “irrational delay”. They are called lazy, dumb and barren lads. Yet the world has known procrastinating achievers in the names of Leonardo da Vinci, St. Augustine, Bill Clinton and Abraham Lincoln.
Many have advocated planning. It is focused on achieving what needs to be done. It is more efficient as they use the time to gather resources for delivering the best output from sedate deliberation. They are the now-doers and no waiting in between.
There are also disadvantages of planning. Even after spending as much time needed for perfect planning, the unpredictable will come and errors will occur. If the planner can’t adapt to that, he’s done. But if everything happened according to the plan, the outcome is near perfect. Achieving planners include Confucius, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and Benjamin Franklin.
Essentially, procrastination is leisure first before play; planning is work first before leisure. If the balance between leisure and work is not satisfied, there is a chronic problem. If the procrastinators waited too long for the best time, it will never come. If the planners tried to isolate every factor of the situation, he won’t be successful.
Anything could happen in procrastinating and planning. Both tactics have produced world influencers while the other edge damaged some who strategized badly. It comes down to what fits the person.
Are you a professional procrastinator or planner?