I’ve always felt somewhat guilty about my tendency to procrastinate. Actually, it’s not so much a “tendency” as a hard-wired part of my basic personality. But at least one person believes that may not be entirely a bad thing.

Slashdot points to an essay in which the writer says there are different kinds of procrastination and that “just getting things done” can actually be harmful.

There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. That last type, I’d argue, is good procrastination.

The most dangerous form of procrastination is unacknowledged type-B procrastination, because it doesn’t feel like procrastination. You’re “getting things done.” Just the wrong things.

Any advice about procrastination that concentrates on crossing things off your to-do list is not only incomplete, but positively misleading, if it doesn’t consider the possibility that the to-do list is itself a form of type-B procrastination. In fact, possibility is too weak a word. Nearly everyone’s is. Unless you’re working on the biggest things you could be working on, you’re type-B procrastinating, no matter how much you’re getting done.

So, now when I don’t get something done until the last minute, I can just claim that I have Type C procrastination. Whatever I’m doing must be more important than whatever else needs doing.

I think I’ll print the article and carry it around with me. Maybe it will help my bosses (and others) understand why I’m not working on the stuff they want done.

Then again, probably not.

procrastination