5 Great Things About Procrastination


James Altucher is an investor, author, and entrepreneur. His latest books are I Was Blind But Now I See and FAQ MEYou can follow him on Twitter @jaltucher.

My wife was upset at me. “You spent all weekend responding to comments on your blog,” she said, “and it was the one weekend without the kids and you were either on your head phones or playing chess or responding to TechCrunch comments.” And then she walked away. Upset. There would be no way to make it up to her. The weekend was over.

And I had big plans that weekend. My article was coming out 6am TechCrunch time on Saturday and I have two Kindle Singles (i.e. “small books”) that I am putting out in the next few weeks. One: “How to Be President of the United States in Ten Easy Lessons”. And two, “Scams”. Plus I’m in the middle of starting three different businesses. Only one peripherally related to porn.

So what was I doing? Why was I procrastinating so much?

I started to Google, “How to avoid procrastination?” There are a thousand blogs about this. A lot of it involves cutting a vein if you do something bad. Or taking pills of some sort. Ritalin. Whatever.

I procrastinate every day. The most basic is: “return so-and-so’s email”. A simple thing. I could write back “Hi” and that would satisfy the project. But I don’t do it. I go online. I play scrabble or chess. I look at my blog stats. I look at my Twitter feed. My Facebook feed. My blog comments. Should I respond? My emails (which come last. Emails are so 2008). Then I repeat. I remember that rap song from 1992 that I want to hear it again. What was it again. Oh yeah. MC 900 Foot Jesus, “The City Sleeps”, I listen to it. Then I listen again. Then I repeat “the loop” (thanks Naval from Angel-list for summoning up my entire process in 2 words).

(you know you want to do it)

But now I’m going to get right down to it.


(Hold on, 2 more “interactions” on Twitter. Be right back. And now that you mention it, I think I want to listen to that MC 900 Foot Jesus Song again).

Ok, I’m back. I only had one more detour. Someone had tagged a post of mine on Facebook and I wanted to “Like” it. Is that bad to “Like” a link to your own post when someone else links to it. Check out the post: “The Day Stockpickr Was Going to Go Out of Business – A Story of Friendship”.

Ok, where was I:


A)     Do stuff you like. Presumably you aren’t vomiting on your bedsheets when you are procrastinating. Unless you are into that sort of thing. Presumably you are probably doing things you like a lot. Even if it’s Twitter. I love Twitter. Tweeting. Retweeting. DM-ing. And if not that, online chess. I play about 200 games a day, with a clock  – 1 minute each side. It’s mindless. But I get constant stimulation? Am I great? No!? Ok, play again. Yes!? Ok, play again to confirm it. On and on. Mental troubles. (Note: see therapist)

(One sec: the guy whose post I liked just IMed me a “thanks”. When I should be the one thanking him. He liked one of my posts to post it on his Facebook wall! Oops. “The City Sleeps” is over. Hit that weird looking replay button YouTube.)

B)      Listen. Your procrastination is telling you something. Maybe the idea you were working on is bad. I started a software project once that I was going to make into a company. But I kept doing everything BUT the software project. Procrastination is your mind’s way of saying: “That bad! This good!” and puts your body at work on something you enjoy. Listen to it. Ask, why am I really procrastinating. Maybe I’m not calling the client back because I simply don’t like him.

Yes! It’s true. If you DON’T LIKE someone then you might not want to do business with them. People have this BS line, “its not personal, its just business.” No way! That’s why we procrastinate often. Because business, or anything you do, is personal. You aren’t a robot! You want to enjoy the things you do and be around people who uplift you and inspire you. And you procrastinate when your body and mind are telling you you don’t like something.

Your body and mind are having a conversation all the time. Most of the time I don’t listen. It’s hard to listen. But it’s important to stop and take note of what they are saying. Because what they are saying will save you time, get you healthy, and make you happier.

(Howard Hughes invented the push-up bra used by Jane Russell in Hell’s Outlaw)

C)      Delegate. Your procrastination is telling you you don’t like doing something. Delegate. Howard Hughes would procrastinate all the time. He personally invented oil drill bits that are still used in the oil industry. He developed techniques in the movie industry that are still used. He broke aviation records and owned the first transcontinental airlines. The guy was the Steve Jobs of the 1930s.

Do you think he did the crap work all by himself. Like the accounting work when he was the largest electronics part supplier to the military during World War II. Of course not. He delegated. Often your procrastination is giving you a guided tour of the things you need to delegate (i.e. the things you are not doing while you are procrastinating). Many people say, “well, I’m not at that point yet where I can delegate.” But I’ve learned that this is not true. There are a 1000 productivity tools on the Internet that allow you to delegate important parts of your life. Research them and use them.

D)     Stop. Why did I procrastinate and not go to that meeting. Or I was ten minutes late to the meeting. Or I didn’t confirm a TV appearance in time and they replaced me. This happened to me a few months ago. The John Stossel Show wanted me on. I LOVE John Stossel. Why did I never confirm that I’d go on the show when they asked me and then I ended up not going on.

Because ultimately I didn’t want to go into the city at night (I live 80 miles north) and go on TV for 3 minutes and then have to go 80 miles back. That’s a drag. That’s about 200 minutes altogether of doing nothing for those 3 minutes of TV. I’d rather be reading, writing, IMing, playing chess, putting on my Superman outfit and saving lives, and all sorts of other things.

E)      Brainstorm. This is the only thing I’m asking you here. When you feel an overwhelming urge to procrastinate. When you don’t want to program something. Or you don’t feel like writing a business plan (which most entrepreneurs should NEVER do). Or you don’t want to go to a meeting (see parenthesis above), just brainstorm for a second: what are all the useful things you can be doing now instead of the boring thing you feel required to do. Maybe you’re entire idea is bad. Your business is bad. Stand up and move to another room to begin the process.

It’s not impossible for you to have bad ideas. In fact, 99% of your ideas are bad. I once set up a dating service on top of Twitter. BAD IDEA. People want to be anonymous on a dating service. Not on Twitter. I kept procrastinating on raising the money. Finally, the money I had raised, I returned, and I shut the whole thing down instead of wasting two years of my life before it would’ve failed anyway.

Instead, I keep a handy waiter’s pad with me at all times. There’s always things I need to brainstorm about (article ideas, business ideas, investing ideas, vlogging ideas, book ideas, SURPRISE! Ideas (everyone likes to be surprised). Often when I’m about to procrastinate, the one discipline I try to do is go off to another table and start listing things for a few minutes. Sometimes I list the stupidest things. Nonsense things to serve no purpose other than to make me laugh. But it clears my head so that I can then really listen to what my body is telling me above.

Here’s what I’ve realized, after thousands of hours of procrastination before, during, after companies, work, friendships, marriages, etc.:

Don’t do what you don’t want to do. Procrastination is great because it tells you what you want to do. It also tells you what is probably a bad idea, or something you should delegate.

Not only that, it probably tells you what everyone wants to do. Like, in between the last paragraph and this one I went to the website for Cosmopolitan Magazine (I know, you probably didn’t think I was that sophisticated). I looked at a few articles like “How to Spot a D-Bag in 10 Seconds or Less”. A D-Bag!!!  Then I felt guilty so I switched to The Economist. First article: “The Yangon Spring”. No thanks. After I’m done with this article I’m all about D-Bags (and yes, it will be hilariously funny when someone comments here, “I bet you saw just a picture of yourself in that article”).

I use Procrastination every day to make my life better. I do the things I want to do. I figure out what I need to delegate. I brainstorm ideas, and I find clues buried in my subconscious about what my future will look like. Colonel Mustard used the rope in the Dining Room.

Addendum: Note that I procrastinated while writing this article. It was originally titled, “TEN THINGS…” But Five is good enough to make everyone’s life better

Addendum 2: In the last few paragraphs I wrote down an idea for a Vlog I’m going to do for PBS involving my nudity, Cosmopolitan, and The Economist. I promise you will laugh. At my nudity. I’ll post this list probably tomorrow as long as people don’t judge me on it. Random stupid ideas list.

Anyway. Think about it. While kayaking along the Yangon River.

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  • Rikki

    What if my procrastination is telling me I want to look on Pinterest all day for ideas for my new kitchen? But seriously, great article and I feel your pain. I spend 8-hours a day trying to get myself to write 30-minute articles. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Sometimes I do also. Sometimes my biggest sign that a post might not be good enough to post on the blog is that it took longer than 30 minutes.

  • Dan

    Completely agree about the delegation and wish I would have learned that a long time ago. I was reading the 37Signals book Rework a while back, and in it they say never hire somebody to do something until you’ve tried to do it yourself. That may be a good idea in software development, but for most other businesses it’s a bad idea because it makes the process of launching a product extend weeks and months beyond what is really necessary. I used to think I would save a lot of money if I learned the skills necessary to build each part, but I soon realized that all the time I had to spend learning that skill was worth something too.

    So now I generally believe that if you want to launch a business/product, figure out what your value is in the process. Maybe it is creating a formula, or designing packaging, or simply connecting the people with the necessary individual skills to produce what you are envisioning. Nowadays, this isn’t nearly as expensive or time-consuming as it used to be. When I first started I would spend days and weeks reading and researching and learning how to do things I had no interest in doing on a day-to-day basis. I finally figured out that I was simply stalling because I was frightened to have an end product that I had to sell. But if you ever want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to learn to sell and get rejected and sell on. I truly believe that those who quickly get used to selling are the most likely to succeed. Fear or the lack of selling ability is usually the reason why people want VC and angels and partners and cofounders.

  • gb74

    James, another great article. I procrastinate a lot. I believe it stems from my addiction to information and the amount of interests I have. I enjoy watching sports, fantasy sports, reading, music, history and information. Just yesterday, after I got home from Easter Dinner, I was watching a special on the Gnostic Gospels. After I watched the show I spent an hour on Google learning about these Gospels. It sounds like you are in the same boat as me and glad to hear I am not alone

  • http://www.PriscillaPWood.com/ Priscilla P. Wood

    I’m a professional procrastinator, every time I don’t feel like doing something I kinda hear your voice “maybe you shouldn’t do it” which makes me procrastinate even more but at the end I find that what I needed to do I just don’t need to do anymore -liberating!

    Also, you and Cosmopolitan? Still cracking up!

  • http://babydoc3.livejournal.com/ babydoc3

    You left out “if you didn’t procrastinate, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog post”

  • http://twitter.com/PMBenfield PRISCILLA BENFIELD

    Your blog post just enabled me to procrastinate. Thanks.

    • Reigle Is Not A Dirty Verb

      I agree. I hear they’re showing Hail To The Chimp across the street.

  • Chris Baltzley

    Yeah this all feeds into my rationalizations really well, but yesterday I was SUPPOSED to be entering financial receipts and bank statements so I could at least get it together enough to file an extension if I can’t get the taxes figured out in time … and, no, I DON’T have enough money right now to just hire someone else to do it (think $20 bank balance) so the delegation thing is out too. I think I’m screwed …

  • http://Brianmarsh.com Brian Marsh

    You know…motivation and success speaker Brian Tracy says procrastination is key to productivity. However, it’s *what* you procrastinate on that’s important.  It’s vital that you procrastinate on the things that *don’t* matter and focus on the things that *do* matter.

  • QuietJim

    Jane Russell is so much hotter than that anorexic hair doo  on the Cosmo cover. In fact if you brainstorm her she is really bizarre and a little frightening.

  • Peggy

    Long time lurker, first time poster.  I am at this moment procrastinating; I need to write followup emails/ make followup calls on jobs I have applied for in state gov.  I get all excited thinking about working a job that is NOT selling something- retail, food, etc., but know that the followups are about selling myself.  I quit my grocery clerk job of 5.5 yrs in March.  Best time of my life the last few weeks.  Am starting to get antsy  because I am gonna need some money in the next 2 weeks as my cushion is running out.  But mostly that is others in my head (and in real life!!!) saying get off your ass and do whatever it takes to get a job.  Any advice?  Anyone?

    • bthewall

      Well. . . . . to begin, you question is very general–“What do I do with my life?”. Thinking of potential answers to the question makes me think it is in a way almost like putting your life for sale up on ebay; ‘one life available, what do I do?’ 

      We need more info to provide better input: What age group are you in? What kind of work do you enjoy doing? Do you need a job to pay debts or just current bills? Have you gone to University or do you want to? Do you care where you live in the USA or would you be willing to move anywhere? Do you prefer job security or adventure?

      Provide more ‘color’ to your life and you will get some good advice from someone here.

  • http://robnonstop.com/ Robnonstop

    Would you mind elaborating on the statement about business plans? Why should most entrepreneurs never write one? Thank you! Rob

  • Girish

    You know the worst thing about all the advice about how to stop procrastinating?  How bad it makes you feel about yourself.  After all, the only reason you procrastinate is because you are  BAD BAD BAD.  I love that this post turned that on its head.

  • http://www.andreasmoser.wordpress.com/ Andreas Moser

    I once complained about my procrastination and about how much time I spend playing chess when I should be working. A smart friend of mine had a very good reply to that: 

  • http://www.livingbydoing.com/ Anders Thue Pedersen

    Is it procrastination when it gives you energy and moves you towards your goals, or is it only when it’s something that uses energy like reading the news?

    Often i think reading your blog is procrastination but most post gives me energy and insight into my own shortcomings, and some even helps me to stop bad procrastination – I haven’t read any news since jan 1st :)

  • Andrew

    Do you ever find that once you really start doing the thing you were putting off, you get into it and don’t mind it so much?  Or maybe even like it?  For me, sometimes the procrastination is something worth getting past.  Not always.  And it’s not easy to know when that’s going to be the case and when it’s not. 

  • mr greenjeans

    “its not personal, its just business.”

    This is what people say when they’re are working an angle on you, trying to deny responsibility for their part of a situation, or something similar that has little to do with good dealing.

    It’s like “I just”. “I just wanted to…”, “I just thought…”. The speaker is trying to get over on you.

    A nice lawyer phrase is “protect yourself/myself” which means doing something to screw the other guy.

    You can wipe your ass with what people say for the most part (not to mean everyone has bad intentions). In adversarial situations, it’s useful to take the opposite of what is said as a good framework. 

  • http://Www.brookefarmer.com/ Brooke Farmer

    I think my procrastination tends to be more fear based than what you describe here. What if they aren’t all bad ideas? But someone is afraid of failure? Or afraid of success. A lot of people are afraid of both.

    It’s hard to motivate beyond the status quo. Because we know how to live in the world we already know. I get overwhelmed and start thinking about possible outcomes of large projects and then they sit on the shelf for months (or years) as I think about them.

    I don’t think any of my own personal procrastination is beneficial. Except maybe when I procrastinate doing the dishes because that is definitely a task that should be delegated.

  • Shawn

    Nice article that I guess could be summarized as, Occasional procrast in small amounts: healthy, normal, (even necessary, I’d add).  Frequent or long procrast: definitely bad. 
    When I’m eating a big meal after a long day, I find it difficult to plan or do much that’s productive, unless I’m with a client, and it’s easy to zone out.  OK, a lot of the time I am guilty too. 

  • Jesse Farrell

    I’m procrastinating today because it’s the first day off and entirely to myself I’ve had in a couple of weeks. The bed is comfortable. Oh look, the cat is here and she’s adorable! People keep cross-posting something I posted on Tumblr and now I want to read their Tumblrs…

    But I have a project I love and really want to work on. But it’s a lot. Writing, drawing, building 3-D models. I love all those things, but it’s going to take us a long time and sometimes I become overwhelmed by the hundreds of small tasks which will add up to this big, completed project.

    I think what needs to happen is that I have to have a sense of play, that I’m cheating on the “real work” before I can get started on any given day. If I think of it as work, it turns into work. I create best by playing. Playing is fun, but it’s also active. Right now I’m in a passive, receptive state of mind.

    Maybe later this afternoon…

  • NYC_Cat

    I’ve gotta hand it to you – you can really put a new spin on an old topic.  Recently an acquaintance from the media failed to get back to me for the past few critical days, and I’m wondering if it is procrastination, family reasons, religious reasons, or maybe just something that isn’t supposed to be personal but really is.  It’s starting to really get to me – maybe they lost interest in the story I was going to tell them about.  I’ve had problems with media types before, but not them disappearing. 

    Anyway, procrastination.  Guess I’ll get back to work.  :)

    • Brian

      Reporters can be nice people, but they always have deadlines, and some of them can be heartless.  Be careful.  Every one of them earning a paycheck is proud not to be on welfare, but it can blind them to the damage they can do to people. 

      • Brian

        You should always assume that a reporter is NOT there to make your life easier, unless you have worked with him for a long time and you are close.

        • Dale

          I hear that.  I’d been thinking that I was going to be able to work with a media company in my area to cover a pretty interesting new development at the firm I run, but not having had much exposure to journalists, I was a little surprised that, while they weren’t hostile to my face, they haven’t seemed to mind at all making my life difficult, poking in my business without permission, even though I proposed that we work together.  They want their story, and I want mine told, but no dice for me, at least so far.  It makes me wonder if there is very often any opportunity to collaborate with the press.  How can someone get the press on their side?  Are they always so indiscriminate? 

          • bthewall

            Best of luck. There is a reason it is called the ‘fourth estate’.

  • http://www.womanincredible.com/ Kat

    The bit about entrepreneurs should not write a bus plan caught me … Do you have a post on this James?

    PS – I’ve been doing the ideas list thing for a month or so, since finding your blog. The past 2 weeks consistently. I don’t know whether to thank you or condemn you for taking over my life … I’ve turned into an ideas machine, all day every day I seem to be jotting things down. It’s a total game changer. Thankyou :)

    • http://736hundred.tumblr.com/ 736hundred

       I also was struck by that comment….no business plan for entrepreneurs? really?

      What happens when you are asked for one, do you just say, “Sorry I know you wanted one, but I didn’t think that was necessary” (?)

      • http://www.womanincredible.com/ Kat

        Actually I meant I like the idea … I’ve never written one but 13 months in my online business is at nearly 2G AUD per week. I’ve been telling myself I should write one though! Curious to know James’ reasoning behind why not.

        • http://736hundred.tumblr.com/ 736hundred

          Who wouldn’t like the idea? Business plans are a pain to write – but if you are going on a roadshow to various investment firms I would think you would want to leave them with details that may not have been covered in the intitial meeting.

          James please explain why the BP isn’t needed?

          • Kat

            True re going after investments! Not something I’ve attempted yet.

    • http://www.perfectlyturbulent.com/ Michael

      Hi Kat,

      What sort of lists are you writing? I find it tough to get going sometimes with the ideas list but would really love to do it consistently.  thanks for your input.

  • Jamesthehack

    This. is. my. impression. of. james. altucher’s. writing. I. use. very. shorts. sentences., lists., and. quick. writing. style. to. create. suspense. for. what. is. otherwise. a. very. dull. subject. matter. and. bad. writing. please . buy. my ebooks. because. the my. wife. wants .to . splurge. and. my. foodstamp. money. ran out. i. need. your. help. plz. buy. my. book. and. shower. me. with. praise.

  • Hack

    This. is. my. impression. of. james. altucher’s. writing. I. use. very. shorts. sentences., lists., and. quick. writing. style. to. create. suspense. for. what. is. otherwise. a. very. dull. subject. matter. and. bad. writing. please . buy. my ebooks. because. the my. wife. wants .to . splurge. and. my. foodstamp. money. ran out. i. need. your. help. plz. buy. my. book. and. shower. me. with. praise.

  • Thomastotal

    James maybe you should take your advice and procrastinate on writing your next blog entry. How does fifty years sound? (or until the domain name expires and your illusory fan base is gone)

    • dalton

       oh come on mr. fussypants. have yourself a snack and get that bloodsugar right.


      i’d wager some of these comments are made by real, flashnblood people. regroup and offer up a new turn of phrase.

  • http://twitter.com/tokyotitan EMani

    Loved procrastinating on your piece on procrastination… But now it doesn’t feel like procrastination, it feels like time well spent…  Darn it…  Now off to iwastesomuchtime.com

  • http://www.toddandelin.com Todd_Andelin

    “Often your procrastination is giving you a guided tour of the things you need to delegate ”

    Talk about thinking outside the box. Usually procrastination is defined as this evil, anti-puritanical sin…laziness, idleness, irresponsibility, foolishness.  

    You have morphed the concept of procrastination into a new, benevolent sort of Angel who is here to help rather than harm.  I like it.  Its an optimistic approach.  

    So it seems the issue at hand is not procrastination as much as one’s own lack of self-awareness.

  • Denis Elistratov

    I’ve put it into instapaper during my 5-minute procrastinate break, to read it later.

  • http://kymira.blogspot.com/ Chimera Swa

    I do procrastinate chores but it is not practical to delegate so sometimes I make a list and check them off. it works for me. eg, doing taxes, laundry etc But yes, I do think that sometimes procrastination is a message that the work is boring but sometimes it is something we must do and do not like doing.

  • http://444express.blogspot.com/ the444

    Recently I’ve been trying to figure out why I procrastinate.  For example, I procrastinated even opening and reading this blog post.  I saw it in my feed and didn’t click on it for at least a day (didn’t this come out yesterday?)  I think I was worried that I’d spend a lot of time typing up comments.

    I procrastinated setting up doctor and dentist appointments for everyone in the family because 1. I don’t truly want to spend time in those offices (who does?) 2. Occasionally a phone jockey at one of those places is unpleasant and I don’t want a fast heartbeat, sweating (I’m high-strung), and 3. There might be a complication, like I have to make 10 phone calls to find the one Xray place our insurance will pay for, and who wants to spend half a day doing that?

    I don’t clean the house very much at all, but it’s because of the obvious: It’s boring and mentally unstimulating as well as tedious and stress-inducing (not the heart-pounding type of stress but the aggravating boredom type of stress.) 

    The other day I was thinking about how some people spend as much time cleaning every crevice of their home with a q-tip the same way I do the same thing with our finances.  No penny escapes my notice and some days I watch every tick of the stock market from 9:30 AM until 4:00 PM and I spend hours working up the perfect price for the perfectly executed purchase or sale.  Here’s the crazy thing:  I enjoy it (obviously, or I wouldn’t do it) the same way some people actually like fluffing their pillows every hour and putting a shine on the kitchen counter because they have nothing else to do.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZOFFTGTXNVTS2VR4KBBHQMAK6A Onn Onon

    Why do you say that entrepreneurs should never write a business plan? A few months back, I will agree with you because most people spent too much time in the planning stage and The only way to know if there is a market for your product is to put it out there and the sales will tell you everything.

    But after watching so many episodes of shark tank and dragon den of wantrepreneurs with really stupid business ideas and some are even willing to bet their 401k, the house they stay in, life savings and children education funds to prove that it works make mr re-evaluate the importance of writing a complete business plan.

  • http://twitter.com/flaviotavares Flávio Tavares

    James Altucher, you did it again! You continue to give me fuel to boost my life and make me laugh so hard. A vlog for PBS involving nudity, Cosmo and The Economist, srsly that sounds awesome! Keep up with the great work.

  • Luke

    For me, the problem is not really so much procrastination as it is knowing what to do in this awful economy.  James has plenty of experience with failure at startups, next to a lot of success, but what do you do if you’ve only been a failure so far?  I couldn’t leave even leave my hometown of Detroit right now if I wanted to, (at least I think). 

  • Thecaptainpower

    James, JP MORGAN said it will stop offering student loans.  A sign that College tuition is completely unprofitable and school too costly.

  • Ahmedly

    It’s amusing how you delete comments you disagree with. How are you supposed to grow as a person if you can’t take constructive criticism? And he wonders why so many people don;t like him…It’s like that article on seeking alpha where James accuses the author of soliciting penny stocks, which could be a valid criticism if Mr. Altcher wasn’t always peddling his books. A tad hypocritical, no? Somehow you misconstrued a valid critique of your “economic theories” (or as I would call semi-literate permabull nonsense) into a personal attack.

  • Jeff

    In response to Cosmopolitan, here’s how I spot a shallow desperate female who has no life and goes through many ‘sex partners’ per year:
    She is reading your trashy magazine for advice about how to choose a mate at a bar within 10 seconds of meeting them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Welner-Zuleta/1065246912 Welner Zuleta

    James!!!!!!!! Thank for your writing!!! it inspires me to write…. Thank YOU!

  • Travis Fields

    I recall you once wrote that you procrastinated like crazy in college, reading great books (and trying to write maybe?) instead of programming computers like you were “supposed to”.

    (It was your major after all.)

    But now look — here you are, writing.

    Just like you really wanted to all along :-)

  • luca

    James, why never writing a Business Plan? I give no value to forecasts. But I am curious to know your reasons. Thanks.

  • Tim

    Here is a post in a similar vein  from Dr. Alex Lickerman, Buddhist physician:

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristine.castagnaro Kristine Krause Castagnaro

    Hi James! I super-duper respectfully disagree with some of your conclusions. Procrasitnation for me is almost always about fear. This comment right here is a good example. I read this post the day you put it up. It took me this long to get up the nerve to reply because it scares me for some reason. Finally decided to get over myself and stop procrastinating and super-duper respectfully disagree. Now, with this out of the way, I can freely go about my brainstorming, list-making, and delegating. *smile*

  • Furbrains

    James – 
    Re: C. Delegate.

    You mention “1000 productivity tools” available on the web.  What’s your top 10?  Or what single one makes all the difference.  Would love to read you opinion on this.

  • http://www.twitter.com/aainslie Alexander Ainslie (@AAinslie)

    Enjoying your honesty James!

  • worthmar

    I think I’ll give up making myself wrong for procrastinating. Thank you.

  • jonathan dyess

    Procrastination is how I reward a crappy boss.  I’ll invent some emergency or crisis to explain the delay.   I want to be working on my personal project but The Rent is Too Damn High so I have to work on the Boss’s project instead.  

  • Spencer

    Psychologists state that 20 % of the population are hard core procrastinators and might need cognitive behaviour therapy.  The rest of us do procrastinate – check emails, etc… I personally found doing a mindfulness awareness before the activity helped me personally.   There are 10 things that PhDs identified about procrastination and 3 types of procrastinators.  I sometimes a avoid making decisions – 

    check out this article on 3 steps to stop procrastination and 10 insights…http://buddhist-meditation-techniques.com/3-steps-to-stop-procrastination-with-buddhist-mindfulness/Yesterday, I did a transcript of the Zen Buddhist Monk and felt it was my procrastination from writing an original article.  It was fine… :-)Happy procrastinating?

  • Fuckery

    its the worst human habit, might be the reason why u have  never truly succeeded at any of your diff ventures….no offense, your blog is the best on the net

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks, but just to correct you, I have sold 4 companies. But I don’t like to write about that stuff. 

  • http://twitter.com/shaneIxD Shane O’Donnell

    Do you remember when the first iPod with the shuffle function came out? You were sure that it wasn’t random at all, but actually hardwired into your brain so it would know exactly what you wanted to hear next. That’s how I feel about this blog.

  • Jgibbs

    I’ll come up with a hilarious and insightful comment later.

  • mcasalino

    procrastination is finding the last/ultimate/final best time to do something

  • http://twitter.com/TheEmulator23 DrewSki

    It Took me 10 minutes to read this. I was distracted & procrastinating.

  • mlabhand

    i ll tell u one more thing about procrastination: it enables u sometime to do the thing u r supposed to do in 1/3 of the time u d do it otherwise. reason: u ve procrastinated so much, time is up and u have to do it NOW-so you do it. i do this all the time and it works wonders.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gus.erickson.92 Gus Erickson

    Once you start doing nothing. It is hard to stop!

  • http://freetheanimal.com/ Richard Nikoley

    Very cool. Back in about 2203 or so I gave a presentation at a trade conference for the industry my company was involved in. Title: “The Virtue of Procrastination.” Same basic idea. Also, I find the “brainstorming” the most valuable because when (if ever) I finally do execute on an idea, it’s always executed WAY differently than I I jumped up, got busy and wasted a lot of time, effort and money just to learn the lessons I learned by procrastinating and just chewing on the thing (some times for months). This can apply to an entrepreneurial start-up endeavor or major changes or improvements you’re considering implementing.

  • Jeffrey James

    I get your point, but I also would disagree somewhat. I do agree that it’s important to do what you love as much as possible. But sometimes we need to do things we don’t like in order to reach a goal. If you want to run a marathon, you need to get up and train 5 or 6 days a week (even if you don’t like waking up early). If you have a brilliant business idea that you love and really want to see happen, but you don’t contact investors because you don’t like feeling like a salesperson, your idea is never going to get off the ground. So even though we can learn things about ourselves from our procrastination tendencies, there are times when we have to fight against procrastination and just do the thing now instead of later. But maybe that’s just me.

  • http://www.procrastination-definition.com/ Yeasin

    I found the discussion of procrastination attractive. My own theory of procrastination that has evolved more than five decades is that the key is ANXIETY and its avoidance. For some, encountering alive surrounding a task leads such people to immediately engagement the task. But for many others, encountering alive leads them to put aside the task, thrust it out of consciousness to quell the shakeup. It’s not a long term conclusive as the task usually has to be performed. But we procrastinate to avoid the demonstration, unaccompanied finally drama the task gone the penalty for non-take doings is for that excuse big that it begins to dwarf the tension surrounding the theater the task. I think this theory subsumes your and the author’s right of access based coarsely speaking insecurity and feelings of self-worth.

    See Also – what is procrastination