Aug 5, 2020


I came across this term "Precrastination" in Chris Bailey's newsletter. We all know about procrastination and its impact on our productivity. But precrastination is something new. 

From this article,
Originally coined by David Rosenbaum, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, “precrastination” is a little-known productivity trap in which we rush too quickly into tasks.
The main intent of the article was to showcase how we rush into tasks, sometime on autopilot mode or the need to get rid of them to clear our mental space.

As I was reading this article, a thought struck me about areas where we precrastinate easily without much awareness.

For instance, you are working on something. An email pops up. It is a newsletter. You quickly scroll through it and find an interesting article. You click through the link and read it. There is a new article linked to it. You click through that as well and continue reading it. Turns out 15 minutes have gone by in a flash. The information might be useful and relevant. But it is unplanned. You have precrastinated to reading it immediately than planning it for a future time.

This kind of behavior happens quite a lot while we browse through our social media feeds as well. We drop in for a minute but we end up spending 20 minutes because of new information we come across - an article, a video, news update etc.

We "content hunt" all the time and it comes in the way of doing actual work.

I have been a victim of this behavior too and over the years, I have consciously taken a step back to not succumb to the new and shiny all the time. 

I love reading newsletters from many authors/thought leaders (Will do a separate post on my favorites). Instead of reading them as and when they arrive, I have scheduled specific time slots to read them. My morning tea time is one such time slot where I read 1-2 newsletters. Although Chris Bailey's newsletter came to my inbox yesterday, I went through it this morning at peace. The term "precrastination" struck me and I started jotting down this post during my morning writing time. 

This habit of scheduling specific times for reading new content is helping me quite a bit. Do give it a try if you read a lot of information from varied sources.

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