What is Precrastination?

art-403-01Precrastination might help get things done, but it prevents you from performing at your best

Chances are you are familiar with procrastination – you might even be in such situation from time to time – yet the opposite of it can pose a serious problem too.

Precrastination, a term first coined by David Rosenbaum, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, refers to one’s tendency to get things done too fast at the expense of extra effort that might be needed for more important tasks afterwards.

Examples of precrastination include responding to unimportant emails first thing in the morning, tackling small tasks on a to-do list, grabbing the first item during grocery shopping even if it is too heavy to carry around, and interrupting conversations out of fear of losing an idea that just popped up.

People tend to precrastinate as a way to reduce their memory load by reaching for low-hanging fruits or whatever that is available to them immediately.

However, as a result of such behaviour, they end up accomplishing their tasks inaccurately or unsatisfactorily due to unnecessary effort that could have been avoided through patience and strategising.

Therefore, while there are times that it is beneficial to precrastinate, Rosenbaum advises to do so only when necessary.

He also suggests that managers do not necessarily need to have every task or assignment completed as soon as possible to achieve efficiency and effectiveness within an organisation.

“It should be agreed in our society that it’s okay to smell the flowers,” he notes. “To be deliberate, mindful and to be allowed to slow down.”

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