Disciplined Procrastination: Controlling Your Inner Rush

by bxrtley

When it only comes to personal projects, I’m a chronic procrastinator. Who am I kidding. I love the rush of getting in high-quality work before the deadline for others too. The adrenaline pushes my borders of creativity, infuses energy into the work and blah, blah. You’ve heard it before. But there’s still a perception of procrastination being a generally bad thing.

It’s tied to being undisciplined, lazy, and even the opposite of laziness: perfectionism. But what if there was such a thing as “disciplined procrastination”? A slow delay that was readily intentional?

Here’s a working definition of procrastination:

procrastination. noun. the action of delaying or postponing something.

Nothing inherently negative in the definition above, right? Now, if you’re a chronic postponer, we might need to have a different kind of conversation. And even I call myself a “chronic procrastinator”, but I use the term quite loosely. Because at heart of my existence, I’m a strategist who lays out and executes plans in a timely manner—I think.

I recently noticed that my blog posts are being published after 11:30pm, which is on the brink of sabotaging the daily personal blogging streak I’m on. And I think it’s healthy. Here’s why:

Undisciplined Procrastination

I didn’t realize this earlier, but now I’m aware that if I were to write my personal posts first thing in the morning, I’d miss out on the “meaningful coincidences” or connections throughout the day. 

It seems like I naturally found a routine to write just before going to bed. At first I thought it was mere procrastination, but it might be a bit of both routine and unintentional delay—and that, my friends, could be considered undisciplined procrastination.

I’m publishing on time, but it’s more so left up to an intuitive compass that says, “Ok, now or never. You want to break your streak? Exactly. Get to writing!”

Disciplined Procrastination

But what if I did the exact same thing, but with a more purposeful mindset? What if I knew and anticipated 11:30p every night? What if I scheduled it? Then it would no longer be deemed undisciplined—right?

And this makes me wonder. If one schedules chaos, is it no longer chaos? If I make an appointment for the natural patterns that emerge, then am I no longer seen as a haphazard scribbler? And what of the spontaneity of the writer? I suppose that’s where the personal journal comes in. But it’s something to think about.

Either way, it’s a delicate and messy mixture of letting the day present it’s full amount of possibilities and happenings, and then embracing the healthy pressure of publishing before the night officially expires at 12am. And I love it.

  • Possibilities (throughout the day) +
  • Pressure (via healthy procrastination) =
  • Publish (with imperfections)

The “Rush” Is What You Make It

There’s a rush I get from clicking the Publish button at 11:58pm. It also pushes me to abandon all perfection and just hit the button. To just ship the darn thing. Then I can edit or make tweaks later if I need to.

But the same “rush” can happen at 10pm or even 9:30pm. And if an amazing moment of synchronicity were to happen after I clicked the precious Publish button, I could always write another post. Or I could jot it down and craft it for the next day.

This idea of intentional delay will be for the synchronicity and connection pieces. But posts like this one, where my thoughts aren’t directly tied to meaningful coincidences or significant connection, will be posted in an undisciplined whenever, wherever manner. 🙂