January 17, 2016

Procrastination encourages divergent thinking

While procrastination is a vice for productivity, I’ve learned that it’s a virtue for creativity.

Our first ideas are usually our most conventional. When you procrastinate, you’re more likely to let your mind wander. That gives you a better chance of stumbling onto the unusual and spotting unexpected patterns.

In every creative project, there are moments that require thinking more laterally and more slowly. My natural need to finish early was a way of shutting down complicating thoughts that sent me whirling in new directions. I was avoiding the pain of divergent thinking — but I was also missing out on its rewards.

Adam Grant in the New York Times.