Art of waiting

Alex Hounchell

Some people may view procrastination to be a negative attribute acquired by lazy people, but it can have positive connotation for people seeking creative venues.

For example, procrastination is synonymous with waiting to see all of the available options and pathways. This allows for a broader understanding to make an informed decision.

It is effectively the difference from being a swordsman or an archer archetype. A swordsman thrives off acting in the moment with their gut and going straight into a situation with their first idea. This can be effective, but it works better for analytical and non-creative processes.

The procrastinator is more calm and collected, but by waiting they can avoid the stress of the moment. This pause can be the difference between acting on a subpar idea and waiting through several bad ideas for a good one to manifest. By having those bad ideas and letting the thing you are supposed to be working on sit in the background, the procrastinator is able to think of ways around their bad ideas.

Thomas Edison famously said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

A procrastinator has time to work out failed ideas and see the light of a better idea form from those ideas that just won’t work.

Procrastination can be negative if the procrastinator goes beyond the point that they can finish what they are supposed to work on, but even then time is on their side. When things are down to the last second in a sport for example, it raises the stakes. That last precious few minutes forces the people who procrastinate to create their absolute best work in the moment.

Thomas Edison also said: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

I assume that he meant having the desire to do something is less important than actually doing it. If someone were to finish the final draft of projects several weeks before its due date, they would still be stressed out for the remainder of the time about whether they did something worthwhile or not.

The procrastinator though, has had time to have fun and presumably gather information, if only subconsciously, on the project they need to finish in three days. It is the time constraint that allows procrastination to work successfully when it does. People who procrastinate may have poor planning skills, but they have refined time management skills.

And how couldn’t they be when they are constantly asked, “Don’t you have a project due in a week?”

Thomas Edison would say, “just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do, doesn’t mean it is useless.”