The Truth about Procrastination (or Precrastination*)

When subject matter experts speak, I listen.

Margarette Atwood, perhaps best known for penning The Handmaid’s Tale, advises: “If you’re gonna do something, you might as well be good at it.”

Turns out, she wasn’t talking about writing great American novels. Instead, Atwood admitted that her ability to procrastinate was astounding.

I will now own the fact that I procrastinate without feeling guilty or lazy.

In fact, social science studies find that avoiding work is more about avoiding negative emotions – feelings of failure, uncertainty and doubt, and of course, boredom.

We procrastinate because we are unsure of our abilities. Sometimes, we procrastinate because we have tasks to complete that don’t give us any autonomy.

When I am at my finest hour of procrastinating, you can find me:

    Re-reading emails I’ve already sentTaking a napPerusing Facebook (of course mostly OBM-related groups, I swear!)And my favorite, “window shopping” online.

In an interview with Adam Grant on his podcast WorkLife, Atwood admitted that it took her three years to start writing The Handmaid’s Tale because she had labeled the idea “too batty.”

I wonder how many years I unconsciously postponed launching The 25th Hour because of self-doubt?

After many weeks of juggling the kids at home, OBM CertWeek, clients, and staving off COVID-19, hearing the experts discuss procrastination as a normal, frequent, highly indulgent (and perhaps costly) waste of time…I feel relieved.

Dubious? Check out Adam Grants’ podcast WorkLife where he interviews professionals who have mastered something unique about work and working.

*Grant identifies as a precrastinator, which has its own pitfalls. He is likely to show up late to a meeting because he wants to finish a project days before the deadline.

Stay tuned into The 25th Hour for insight into managing procrastination productively!


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