The worst part about procrastinating

If you keep putting off something you know you need to do, you replace it with worthless minutia.

Like yesterday I put off some writing I needed to do for today. But instead of replacing it with something worthwhile, I ended up reading a bunch of interesting-but-not-very-important articles online.

That happens a lot. It seems when you and I procrastinate, we don’t replace the first best option with the second best option – we replace the first best option with the 52nd best option. And that’s where I see the real danger in procastinating.

Because if you’re putting something off, there might be a good reason for that. Maybe it’s not really as important to you as you’re trying to make yourself believe. Maybe that first best option really isn’t the best. That’s fine – you can re-prioritize.

The problem is that you end up doing something stupid instead of doing the second best thing. Like when we make long To-Do lists, we often find ourselves not getting any of it done. Instead of cutting our loses with the first best option, we ignore all the good ones and just go with what’s easiest.

Put simply, procrastinating isn’t bad because you’re putting something off. It’s bad because of what you’re putting on.

[Update: Here’s what I’m trying to do instead.]