Precrastination: procrastination’s painful cousin

Precrastination? You read it correctly! It is a term coined by Carthage Buckley, a learning and development professional, to describe rushing to finish a task so that you can cross it off your endless to-do list.

More haste and less speed: just because you finish something quickly does not mean that it has been done effectively so it may come back to haunt you. Carthage suggests seven strategies to help you approach your tasks quickly so they are out of your way and you can focus on more important things.

  1. Focus on importance, the value of the task you need to complete. It is more about importance and impact and not quantity. This should help you prioritise your tasks.

  2. A close second, or arguably a first, is to focus on the quality of the task. Is it something that will help you to reach your longer-term goals? More important tasks will likely need to be of higher quality.

  3. Take time to think, give yourself enough time to consider all the available information that relates to the task. There may be a great deal of information to process for the more important and valuable tasks.

  4. If you are unsure how important or valuable a task is, review your long-term goals and see how the task fits into those objectives.

  5. Keep contextualised task lists

  6. Create batches of the smaller less important tasks

  7. Slow down and take stock. Commit to doing something regularly that you enjoy; meeting with friends, playing a sport, visiting a gallery anything that helps to unwind, will refresh your mind and help you focus better on your work.

This list essentially advocates taking stock and reviewing the value and impact of the task on your to-do list. This should help to prevent rushing through less valuable tasks and, in theory, help prevent precrastinating and very likely help reduce procrastinating.

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