This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What is creative procrastination? How can procrastinating be a good thing?
Creative procrastination is the practice of consciously deciding not to do certain things. You put them on the back burner, so you can focus on more important things instead.
Keep reading to learn more about creative procrastination.
What Is Creative Procrastination?
Most people procrastinate unconsciously or without thinking about it. As a result of not thinking, they put off important tasks that can have significant long-term consequences in their lives and careers.
However, there’s another kind of procrastination you should practice: creative procrastination, during which you consciously decide not to do certain things. You put them on the back burner, so you can focus on more important things instead.
Since you have too much to do, you really have no choice but to procrastinate on the small, unimportant ones. Put off, delegate, or eliminate activities that don’t add much value to your work or life.
The Power of “No”
Saying “no” is essential to time management. Investor Warren Buffet said a key to his success was saying no to everything that wasn’t critical to him at the moment. You should say no to everything that isn’t optimal use of your time because you don’t have extra time. Doing something new can only mean eliminating or first completing something else you’re doing.
Continually review your activities to identify tasks you can jettison or reduce without any real cost. Look especially hard at time-consuming activities. For instance, you may not realize how much time a nonproductive activity is eating up—for instance, golfing three times a week for three or four hours at a time.
There are some activities that you can stop altogether—for instance, watching television or spending time on social media. Instead, do something that enhances your life or career, such as spending time with your family, exercising, or furthering your education.
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Here's what you'll find in our full Eat That Frog! summary :
- What it means to eat a frog
- How your daily distractions get in the way of doing important work first
- How to make a habit of doing the most important thing first, every day