A while ago Frank Carver posted a link to a wonderful paper called "Structured Procrastination". This is probably the most useful paper I ever read. An enthusiastic procrastinator I am, I learnt how I could get my stuff done. I normally enroll in about twice as many projects as I can accomplish, and while procrastinating on one, I get another done.
My mother always said that my brother and I procrastinated because we liked the thrill and added challenge of having to do our work under a time constraint. In many ways I have to agree with this. I also like how the time constraint helps me avoid over-analyzing trivial details.
I wonder if we procrastinators simply like to feel important. Knowing that I have 5 major projects to accomplish makes me feel very important, even if I never get around to doing any of them.
Additionally, being so "busy" is terrific when you get invited to something you don't want attend. Oh, I'm sorry, I have to mow the lawn, paint the deck, review a book, clean the gutters, and finish my dissertation this weekend - I won't be able to make it to your earwax sculpture gallery showing. Out of fear of losing the terrific excuse, we occupy the weekend with watching sports, going to the park, or playing video games instead.
Since a lot of my most procrastinated tasks involve using what's left of my brain, I like to kid myself by saying that I'm cogitatin' (although I actually think there is some truth to the idea of cogitatin').
BTW, Robert Benchley is one of my favorite authors, and here's what he had to say about this topic:
"Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he's supposed to be doing at the moment."
Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)