November 24, 2023

In the hustle and bustle of the modern workplace, procrastination is often seen as a cardinal sin. Leaders are expected to be decisive, quick-witted, and always ready to take on challenges. Ugh! However, what if we told you that procrastination, when utilized strategically, could be a potent tool for effective leadership and decision-making? I know, it’s true. Be prepared to be shocked and almost unlearn everything you know to be true as it relates to leadership and the act of leading. In this edition, we will dive deep into the unconventional world of procrastination and explore how taking a step back can lead to a leap forward in your leadership journey.

  1. The 100-Foot View: Reassessing Situations
    One of the fundamental benefits of procrastination is gaining the ability to reassess situations from a higher vantage point. In other words, you get the see the bigger picture. And when you’re engrossed in the day-to-day minutiae, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Procrastination offers the chance to step back and view the scenario from a 100-foot level. This broader perspective enables leaders to evaluate situations with a long-term vision, fostering decisions that are aligned with the organization’s overarching goals.
    Research indicates that individuals who take time to reassess situations often make more strategic decisions. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that leaders who allocated sufficient time for reflection showed a 23% improvement in their decision-making abilities compared to those who made snap judgments.
  2. Disengagement: Finding Clarity in Distance
    Procrastination allows leaders to disengage temporarily from immediate pressures and stresses. And quite honestly, disengaging occasionally is much needed and can reinvigorate the soul. Stepping away from the intensity of the moment also provides mental breathing space. During this break, your subconscious mind continues to process information. Disengagement doesn’t mean avoidance; it means giving your mind the freedom to wander, allowing innovative ideas and creative solutions to emerge.
    And the act of disengaging does not have to be anything significant. It just needs to be an activity that helps to shift your focus away from your current fixation. It can be anything from taking a walk to cooking/baking. Whatever strikes your fancy and interest is what you should do.
    Psychological studies suggest that disengaging from a problem can lead to a ‘Eureka moment.’ Research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, demonstrates that taking a break from a problem often results in improved problem-solving abilities. It is during these moments of mental distance that the brain forms new connections, paving the way for innovative solutions.
  3. Gaining a Fresh Perspective: The Power of Distance
    When you procrastinate, you create a mental distance from the issue at hand. This distance provides an opportunity for your mind to gain a fresh perspective when you return to address the problem. The mental break allows your mind to subconsciously process information, facilitating a shift in your thinking. Often, this new perspective brings innovative solutions and angles that you might have missed if you’d rushed into the decision-making process. Ultimately allowing you to discover and embrace your needed ‘a-ha’ moment needed to solve the problem.
    Research from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology highlights the power of mental distance in creative problem-solving. According to the study, individuals who mentally detached themselves from a problem before attempting to solve it demonstrated significantly higher levels of creativity and innovation.
  4. Procrastination as a Catalyst for Achievement
    Interestingly, embracing procrastination can be a source of motivation. The anticipation of addressing the postponed task can create a sense of excitement. This may seem contrary to what you previously believe but when you do finally tackle the issue, the satisfaction of conquering it becomes a powerful motivator. This cycle of anticipation and achievement can boost your confidence, energize your leadership approach, and fuel your desire to overcome challenges.
  5. Seeking Clarity: Partnering with American Management Leadership by Design
    Embracing strategic procrastination requires a delicate balance. Recognizing when to pause and when to act is key. American Management Leadership by Design understands the nuances of effective leadership. Our expertise in succession planning, executive coaching, and comprehensive leadership strategies can guide you in utilizing procrastination as a tool rather than a hindrance. By partnering with us, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge and resources to help you navigate the complexities of leadership.
    Procrastination, when approached with mindfulness and purpose, can be a valuable asset to leaders. It offers the chance to reassess situations, gain distance for fresh perspectives, and serve as a catalyst for achievement. By recognizing the benefits of strategic procrastination, leaders can harness this unconventional approach to enhance their decision-making processes, promote innovative thinking, and achieve greater clarity in their leadership roles. Remember, it’s not about avoiding responsibilities; it’s about strategically pausing to gain a broader, more insightful view before charging forward.
    Contact American Management Leadership by Design today at 888-824-4631 or visit us at to initiate your executive coaching journey. We believe in your potential and are dedicated to empowering your leadership journey.
    American Management and Leadership by Design – We Fix Businesses and Strengthen Leadership. 💼 💪🏽
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