Procrastinating feels lazy. You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway because work is hard. Planning, brainstorming, and discussing feels productive because you’re talking about doing stuff. If you don’t move to action, though, there’s no difference between the two.
Your time is a bit like your money. You can spend it without actually gaining anything for it. Procrastination and excessive planning without action have the same net worth: nothing. As finance blog Free Spirit Finance explains, the productivity difference between planning and procrastination is a psychological one, not a tangible one:
You don’t need to do some complex retirement income calculation to take intelligent action today. Get your employer match, if you’re so lucky to have one, and save in a Roth IRA. Action! You’ll have a larger nest egg at the end of your career than someone who spent hours pouring over Money Magazine articles and watching CNBC while doing nothing.
None of this is to say that planning is inherently bad. Researching your options, talking about ideas with your partners, and writing stuff down are all great ways to move forward. But “moving forward” on a project that doesn’t go anywhere is no more productive than watching Netflix.
Photo by A Futurist at the Movies.