Brainfood - Are you suffering from..?

Constructive procrastination. If you regularly clean out the kitchen cupboards when you should be paying bills..

by
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

If you regularly clean out the kitchen cupboards when you should be paying bills, and pay bills when you should be filling out tax forms, you may suffer from constructive procrastination. The term simply means substituting one useful activity for another perhaps not so useful activity, the end result of which is an extraordinarily tidy office, though perhaps not the report that was due on Monday. Psychologists are loath to knock this one on the head, as some procrastinators would rather nip down to the pub (not constructive) than do something useful like weeding the drive. But by replacing something that one would normally put off for an activity that one has put off makes the residual guilt much less. Often, the sight of a perfectly organised cubicle with Post-it notes arranged in symmetrical rows just so is enough to inspire the writing of the report anyway.

Helen Kirwan-Taylor – helen@kirwantaylor.com

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

The 9 worst things a leader can say

Actions may speak louder than words, but words can still drop you in it.

Why you overvalue your own ideas

And why you shouldn't.

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.