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Is procrastination always a bad thing for leaders? 3 reasons why you should procrastinate.

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Procrastination can sometimes be an advantage to a leader. Here are three reasons why.Procrastination

1. Procrastination can help leaders avoid regrets. Have you ever responded too quickly to an email when you were upset and regretted it? Whether email, phone calls, or face to face conversations, take a time out when you aren't in a position to react calmly. Sometimes the situation will just take care of itself without you having to do anything. Regardless, you will have time to ponder and think before you act and have regrets.

2. Procrastination can lessen your workload. Here are two questions to ask yourself:

First, are you the type of leader that solves every problem that those you lead have? If so, then you might be creating more work for yourself than you need to. I have found that people have a great knack for solving their own problems when left to do so. 

Second, are you the type of leader that answers every question that those you lead have? If so, that might explain the 3,023 emails in your inbox. Teach people to solve their problems and answer their questions. 

Remember the saying "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to use the net and he won't bother you for weeks."

3. Procrastination can help leaders make better decisions. Taking the time to ponder on answers to problems you are striving to find a solution for can help you better understand different perspectives and angles. Procrastination can also lead to more proposals to solutions from others, hence allowing you more options to think about.

Now, I am sure some of you are saying, wait a minute! Are you telling me to avoid conflict, close my door and slow down on making important decisions? Yes and no. As in all things, proper discernment and balance are the key. Every situation is unique. But there will clearly be times when a little bit of procrastination will make you a better leader and even save you some time.

Do you agree that procrastination is always a bad thing for leaders? If yes or no, let's discuss. Please comment below.


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 Mike Rogers

Leave a Comment

  • Maryanne Sherman November 9, 2010, 12:14 pm

    I agree. Procrastination can be a good thing. We are all trained to be extra reponsive. To answer every email immediately. To jump on a new assignment and just get it done. However, if there’s no time to think about the consequences of our actions, are we really doing the job? I don’t think the appropriate word is procrastination, but I do think we need to stop, step back and THINK before responding. Because things change so rapidly today, you could end up responding to a situation that has already morphed into something else. That’s almost worse than no response at all.

  • Geraldina Pufnock November 9, 2010, 12:17 pm

    Certainly emotions are the worst of counselors. So is lack of structure or purpose. I understand procrastination as the absence of due diligence, but not taking the time to analyze the consequences of your responses, is nothing else but negligence. A leader should be able to understand when the time is good to move, and then take action, not a moment before of after.

  • Carmen Ackert November 9, 2010, 3:54 pm

    As someone, whom on occassion, can fall victim to procrastination, I think there is a fine line between avoidance and simply failing to get something done (and convincing ourselves that we’re practicing either). I agree with Maryanne that perhaps procrastination is not the appropriate word. Maybe being “deliberate” is bettered suited to the conversation here, where the actions associated with deliberate decisions can be either quickly executed, or thoughtfully timed as determined appropriate.

  • Mike Rogers November 9, 2010, 3:59 pm

    Thanks for your comments all. I would agree Carmen, I think the better word is “deliberate procrastination.”

  • Leda Baker November 11, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I very much agree. I have paid the price for acting too quickly out of the desire to ‘get it done’ or appear to be fully responsive and ‘on the ball’. It’s interesting not to react when one feels a strong emotion. To take the time to understand what is being asked or what the situation actually requires. If I react too quickly I find, in retrospect, that I understood only a fraction of the issue. It is also interesting to see why one reacts in this way.

  • Poppy Quintal July 2, 2012, 9:59 am

    It seems to me that what you propose is an advantage that introverts already have. Perhaps what some perceive as “procrastination” is actually the better way to do things?

  • Mike Rogers July 3, 2012, 2:38 pm

    Maybe Poppy.
    Nice article, thanks for posting. I have know many good introverted leaders in my life. It goes to prove that whether you are an introvert or extrovert, you can lead. I think the thing you have to have in common is that you care about people.


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