There's a little shop near my home that sells all sorts of things you don't need but occasionally must have. Like this long, black, rectangular block of wood. It screamed at me from its perch:
I had to have it. I snatched it up, laughing to myself. It could just as easily said "MARINATE EVERYTHING!" I am a firm believer in marinating. Or procrastinating, if you prefer. It can play a crucial role in problem solving, despite opinions to the contrary.
Speaking of those opinions, yes, I can hear some of you screaming (or is that just my wife?) Calm down. Hear me out. But before I explain how procrastination has been given a bad rap, I'll throw you this bone. Yes, there is a place for urgency and action. Some critical issues require immediate attention and can't be ignored. And some require prompt action to avoid escalation. But the truth is, many problems, if simply left alone, sort themselves out with nothing more than the tincture of time. Inaction can actually help to settle problems down, but it can exact a toll on you as you wait. Fortunately, stress or calm is a choice if you examine your beliefs first.
The stress of unresolved problems is intensified, and sometimes even caused, by the belief that you must do something about it, but aren't. The belief that your stalled action, fueled by uncertainty, inability or unwillingness, is somehow making your problem worse. And so, regardless of whether or not the problem is resolving with the passage of time, you suffer needlessly in the meantime. Some will disappear entirely as they fade into the background, absorbed by the static of life's busyness. Others will shrink, exposing core issues that are clear and more manageable. Regardless of the outcome, "procrastination" can yield much needed perspective through the calm of reflection. Memories fade. Focus shifts. Other priorities take center stage. Eventually, it either resolves, you accept it, or you gain the clarity to put it to rest.
So, the next time you find yourself procrastinating, try this. Sit back, relax and reframe your beliefs about it. Ask "What is likely to improve over time? What is likely to get smaller or less intense? Whose head may cool down or clear up? Yours? Another's?" Take a chill pill and let it marinate. Don't wait. Procrastinate Now! It just might be the answer to a right-sized problem, or no problem at all, tomorrow.