I think I may have a new favorite productivity book — https://www.amazon.com/Procrastinate-Purpose-Permissions-Multiply-Your/dp/0399170634
It talks about ‘multiplying your time’ vs. ‘prioritizing your time.’ The main funnel suggested for tasks is:
- Eliminate — give yourself permission to ignore / say no
- Automate — give yourself permission to invest
- Delegate — give yourself permission to be imperfect
- Procrastinate — give yourself permission to be incomplete & wait
- Concentrate — give yourself permission to focus only on what’s left
The most interesting / controversial one is procrastinate. The author Rory Vaden, after interviewing highly effective people, concludes that you can multiply your time by giving yourself the permission to procrastinate on the activities that are “important and require our attention but aren’t quite ripe for action yet.” He says be on time but not early and not late. Alongside with #1 eliminate, it is suggested to never do anything that doesn’t have an especially compelling reason at that time to do it.
Here’s some simple examples from my life—
(1) I wanted to cancel my business’ secured credit card and get the collateral back, since another provider offered me an unsecured card. Instead, I procrastinated and the card was eventually upgraded to unsecured and the collateral sent back to me without me having to do anything
(2) I wanted to be organized before a trip with friends down to who I am carpooling with, etc. In the end, I spent so much time just on those coordination logistics, which were all redone day of anyway. I could have just procrastinated on that and it would have taken care of itself.
The book’s really made me question the way I’ve approached GTD, because I’m realizing that some of the tasks I started to be more proactive about thanks to GTD are not necessarily necessary. Just because I have the system available to be more “on top of my game” in every project of my life doesn’t mean that it’s the most productive thing to do.
In a way, the book’s methodology is more so what I would have done before knowing GTD, naturally, except I was overwhelmed because of the uncertainty of forgetting something, keeping track of open loops in my head, and thinking that procrastination was “bad.”