Prone to Procrastinating? Why the Way You Set Deadlines Could Make Things Worse, Not Better.

When it comes to being productive and getting work done, do you like to set deadlines? Or are you more the kind of person that just goes with the flow?

I have a kid who seems to be allergic to calendars, and philosophically opposed to setting times for when to do things. He explains that putting things on the calendar doesn’t work, and he responds better if he just does things on his own internal calendar.

Which of course makes me nervous. I mean, if things aren’t written down on the calendar, will anything ever get done?

I tend to write everything down. From what to buy at the grocery store, to how many socks to pack on a trip, to what books I want to read and Netflix shows I want to see, to when the dog should be given his heartworm medicine, it all gets written down on the calendar or a todo list, with dates and reminders and priority flags and everything.

But in all fairness to the kid, I have to confess that most of the items on my todo list don’t actually get done on the schedule I set for myself (if at all!). And I still totally procrastinate on things.

Which is to say…could the kid be onto something? Could deadlines make us even more prone to procrastinating? 

Is it possible that his seemingly loosey-goosey approach is actually more effective and less self-delusional? 🙄