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Good and Bad Procrastination

Paul Graham
Paul Graham
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Conventional wisdom says you must find a way to reduce procrastination, but some of the most impressive and occupied people procrastinate the most. After all, doing any type of work means that you procrastinate all other tasks.

Good and bad procrastination can be distinguished by considering three possible types of procrastinating:

  1. Working on nothing
  2. Working on something less important
  3. Working on something more important

Good procrastinators are type 3 procrastinators

  • Procrastinate unimportant jobs, like errands in favor of important work.

It’s hard to be a type 3 procrastinator

  • Most important work takes large periods of time, and the payoff is often far in the future.
  • Ultimately, tricking oneself into doing the important work over errands will lead to greater productivity overall.
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