Most of us consider procrastination to be something that keeps us from achieving our goals. That’s because most people are looking at it from a productivity view point.
But when you’re a brilliant innovator like Steve Jobs, being productive is NOT the be-all end-all.
Yes, productivity is important. But what if you’re being “productive” on the wrong idea? What if you’re tirelessly working on something that could be improved?
As it turns out, all throughout history there have been two very different ways that humans refer to procrastination.
Today, most people think of procrastination as lazy and apathetic. Somebody who is just prolonging the inevitable for no good reason whatsoever.
But the Ancient Egyptians had a different take on it…they defined procrastination as:
“Waiting for the right time.”
This is an idea that great thinkers and creators like Steve Jobs embraced. Research suggests that procrastination is a vice when it comes to productivity, but it’s actually a virtue for creativity.
“The time Steve Jobs was putting things off and noodling on possibilities was time well spent in letting more divergent ideas come to the table, as opposed to diving right in with the most conventional, the most obvious, the most familiar,” say Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton.
Procrastinating strategically means stopping whatever creative tasks we’re working on before they’re complete to allow more creative ideas to bubble up, “making gradual progress by testing and refining different possibilities,” as Grant writes in his book.
The idea is NOT to simply put things off forever. Obviously, nothing would ever get done!
Maybe you’ve felt the same way, but sometimes it’s important to pause in the middle of a project and try to gain some outside perspective. If you’re like me, sometimes you get so engrossed in a project that it’s hard to see from somebody else’s perspective.
And when it comes to being a master innovator like Steve Jobs, those perspectives are crucial.
You can read more at Business Insider.