When is the right time to get started on a project? Procrastinators would say an hour before the deadline, while pre-scrastinators, people who have the inclination to complete tasks quickly and in advance for the sake of getting things done sooner rather than later, would say, right when you get it.
In the book Originals, Professor Adam Grant cites a research study conducted by one of his students who surveyed managers to find out how innovative their employees were. Astoundingly, the results showed that the ones who rushed in and did everything early were less creative, the same went for the chronic procrastinators who were unable to contribute any novel ideas at the 11th hour.
The sweet spot was moderate procrastinators, those who fused both approaches were found to be 16% more creative.
Here is how it works.
When you get a task, start working on your first draft, jot down preliminary ideas and put it away. While you are doing other things, your mind is still working on it and remains in capture mode. When you resume activity, you can deposit interesting new ideas and take unexpected leaps in your work.
Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci, a famous procrastinator has more unfinished works of arts than finished ones? He toiled on and off for 16 years with the Mona Lisa, each time, adding interesting touches to his masterpiece. Although Martin Luther King Jr. had a draft of his famous March on Washington speech written in advance, he was putting last-minute touches on it up to 3 am the previous night. Even moments before going on stage, he was scribbling additional notes. In fact, his famous “I have a dream” utterance was not in his original script.
Next time you are working on something, try being quick to start and slow to finish because you leave yourself open to the widest array of ideas and allow for creativity boosts.
“You call it procrastination, I call it thinking” — Aaron Sorkin, Executive Producer.
What tasks are you struggling to complete now? Share and comment.