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What is precrastination?

To understand precrastination, let's start with the word procrastination.

Procrastinate: to delay or postpone action, to put off doing something.


To not procrastinate would simply mean to not delay, to not postpone, to not put off doing something.

Prescrastinate, however, means more than just not delaying or postponing. It means to do something or to start to do something much earlier than needed. It means to give yourself more or much more than enough time to get something done. To start something as soon as possible instead of as soon as needed or even later, when you are procrastinating. 

The benefits of precrastination

But why? Sometimes precrastinating is not helpful or could be even costly. Often, however, we can reap many non-obvious benefits for both Now and Next by precrastinating.

Benefits of precrastination for Now

  • When you precrastinate, you have no pressure to "be efficient" so it's a lot easier for Now to naturally enjoy the process or find ways to enjoy the process of whatever you're doing. There's plenty of time to take breaks or switch off doing something else for a while if wanted or needed.

  • If the process is something that Now more naturally enjoys, then he or she can begin that earlier and indulge in that longer.

  • If the process is something that Now is resisting a bit, but you know that Now is likely to enjoy it once you get past that initial resistance, then Now can get past that short period of resistance sooner and then relax in the rest of the process. Precrastination eliminates quickly that niggling feeling of coming-soon discomfort by getting the difficult part over as soon as possible that would otherwise persist much longer if you did not precrastinate.

  • Similarly, even if Now would prefer to be doing something else, by starting earlier than needed, it can be finished earlier than needed, and Now can more fully enjoy doing whatever you do after it's completed. In contrast, if you don't precrastinate, but instead you start when you need to or especially if you delay even longer (procrastinate), then Now is going to "enjoy" that delay yet he or she is going to be less relaxed because your Next keeps niggling Now with what has to be done later that you're delaying on. If Now's less preferable activity was done earlier by precrastinating, then Now will end up enjoying himself or herself for a much longer period of time than if you don't precrastinate.

Note: I use the word "project" to designate whatever may be precrastinated or procrastinated on.

Without precrastination

----------------------------------------total time----------------------------------------

                      <                            time before the project starts                               >< time for project >

| ---------------------------------------------------------------------|------------------- |

                             Now cannot enjoy so much knowing the project is coming

With precrastination

----------------------------------------total time----------------------------------------

                      < time for project ><                      time after the project is complete                             >

| --------------------|--------------------------------------------------------------------- |

                                                                    Now can enjoy to the fullest with the project complete

The final benefit for Now can occur during the project, when some opportunity presents itself that strongly attracts Now or even if Now is not in a good mood to work on the project for a while, then Next is more likely to allow Now to take advantage of that opportunity or to quit for the day and re-start the project tomorrow when Now is likely to feel more resourceful. Next will be happy to do this because he or she knows that's there is plenty of time to finish the project before it needs to be done because you have precrastinated.

Benefits of precrastination for Next

Projects often don't go as planned or anticipated. Things can take longer. You encounter unanticipated interruptions that need to be handled. Your Now has some problems with enjoying the process that you need to address. You make a mistake that takes extra time to correct. The deadline gets pushed up to earlier than it was before. You see something new and you want to adjust or add to the project that will be more satisfying and improve the results, but it will take more time.


When you've precrastinated and any of the above occur during the project, it's no problem. It's a piece of cake. You've got plenty of time. 

Moreover, with a more leisurely process, creativity is likely to bubble to the surface, not only giving you ideas to improve the current project, but also spilling over into other areas of your life.

Not uncommonly, when we precrastinate, we are able to avoid costs in late fees or extra time needed to handle something that we would incur when we do things later. This is good for Next.

Without precrastination, the cake will mold

In contrast, if you've waited and started when you thought you needed to with just enough time, or worse yet, you procrastinated in starting, then, if any of the above occur, the cake is moldy and you're out of luck, buster!

Benefits for Now creates benefits for Next

When you precrastinate, it's easier for Now to enjoy the process of getting the project complete. Therefore, you're more likely to do a better job and achieve superior results, something that's good for Next.

With precrastination, your reputation will soar, both with others and with yourself

If someone else, like your boss or your spouse is relying on or expecting the project to be finished by a certain time or date, then you're almost guaranteed to always be on time or before. 

Even if others are not affected by your getting things done earlier, you will enjoy and be able to rely on your own new level of impeccable reliability with yourself.

Always have it in your pocket ready to use

Yes, there are reasons why you and most others haven't been consistently precrastinating, just as there are reasons why many people don't eat for health. But after you make precrastination a permanent fixture of your life, you'll never want to go back to your old way, just as a person who learns to eat for health doesn't want to return to their old ways of abusing their body.

Things to precrastinate on...

  • Studying for an exam

  • Doing and filing your tax returns

  • Getting everything ready to get out the door for an appointment

  • Starting a partnership conversation with your spouse about an issue that you've been avoiding

  • Packing for that trip

  • Applying for that job

  • Initiating that divorce that you know you want

  • Buying all the Christmas gifts for your friends, colleagues, and family

  • Asking your boss for that raise

  • Charging your mobile phone

  • Paying the monthly bills

  • Making an appointment with the doctor for something you need to get checked out

  • Planning your day

  • Doing 14:24

  • Getting your daily exercise done

  • Returning a call, replying to a text message or email

  • Planning your wedding anniversary

  • Starting whatever you know that you want or need to start

  • Making a clear decision about whether or not you're going to do something

  • Making plans for how you will know when you're ready to die and how you're going to choose to die so that you'll be ready to celebrate the ending of your life in the greatest way possible

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