New word: procrascipline. Until now, there are no Google results for procrascipline, so you know you saw it here first.
Just to help those Oxford folks out a bit… Procrascipline: (v) pro-crAS-sip-lyn, the discipline of procrastination. As in: "Boy, I really procrasciplined my way through that project!" Or, "Wow, what a talented procrascipliner you are! Will you marry me?" And don’t get any ideas–I’ve totally got dibs on the movie rights for The Procrasciplinator AND all sequels.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: highly effective slackers are very good at doing what is important to them. But maybe not so good at doing what’s important to others. That makes for fertile ground for procrastination to bloom and flourish. This is the bane of all highly effective slackers. Procrastination can be a subtle deathtrap. Advance apologies to Hemingway:
Friend: "How did you lose your job?"
Slacker: "Gradually, then suddenly."
Procrastination is a bad, bad thing. Unless it’s not. But even then it isn’t all good–structured procrastination has limited utility.
The answer, of course, is procrascipline. Disciplined procrastination. The first rule of procrascipline is that you must not talk about procrascipline…no, wait. That’s something else. The first rule of procrascipline is that you must not ignore the task. The second rule of procrascipline is to que it up in one of your lists that you actually look at. Don’t bury that task in your "List of things that must never be acknowledged." The third rule of procrascipline is to communicate your progress. Yeah, that’s the tough one. You’ve gotta tell the other stakeholders where you’re at…why it’s not done. And sometimes you’ve even got to get humble.
We all know that there are projects where you are the person responsible for multiple tasks that must occur in near-simultenaity. But you’re only one person, with limited resources. How can you do all that at once? You can’t. That’s where procrascipline comes in handy. Even when you’re stuck between something that must get done asap and something that must get done yesterday, you can ease the pressure by letting everyone know where you are on both tasks. But the very worst thing you can do is ignore the tasks and the stakeholders.
Dave Pollard writes about GTD and procrastination:
The only obstacle I have encountered so far has been my tendency to procrastinate. Using GTD has made me so much more productive that I am sometimes tempted to reward myself by deferring tasks I really don’t want to do, or which are high-energy (intellectual concentration or creativity) tasks. This is a dangerous habit, since they tend to pile up and come back to haunt you.
Dave’s talking about procrascipline. His point is that some tasks simply must get done, and it’s very ill advised to ignore that fact. You can ignore some stuff, definitely. But the skill, the art, of procrascipline is knowing which you can safely ignore and which must be actionable.