Actually, Procrastination Can Spark New Business Ideas

Sir Isaac Newton was only spacing out until that apple fell from the tree and sparked his genius to develop the law of gravity. This is a direct...

It is human nature to procrastinate every now and then, but if it becomes a frequent habit then it would have a negative impact on your life. Mainly, productivity will go down and the time spent on procrastination would simply be regarded as wasted time.

Since procrastinating is widely considered to be a human trait then we might as well make something positive out of it!

Did you know that some of the most brilliant ideas came about by way of procrastination?

Sir Isaac Newton was only spacing out until that apple fell from the tree and sparked his genius to develop the law of gravity. This is a direct proof of how procrastination can do something positive for us.

If we try to use procrastination by thinking of work and family-related issues and how to make them better for ourselves then we would just end up stressed out and overwhelmed because procrastination is supposed to be done by thinking of things that are out of the scope of your responsibilities.


How to procrastinate well

In 2005, Paul Graham (co-founder of seed capital firm, Y Combinator) shared an insightful look on the realities of procrastination as it applies to successful people. He noted that there is good and bad procrastination. “The most impressive people I know are all terrible procrastinators. So could it be that procrastination isn’t always bad?”


Photo: © oleg_p_100, YFS Magazine
Photo: © oleg_p_100, YFS Magazine

According to Graham, “Most people who write about procrastination write about how to cure it. But this is, strictly speaking, impossible. There are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you’re not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well.”

Start by using your playful imagination while procrastinating, but instead of investing in ideas that are purely fantasy and non-fiction, it would be much better to channel your thoughts towards interests that can be helpful for you in real life such as thinking of business ideas.


Make procrastination work for you

Entrepreneurship cannot be for everyone and there are just people whose interests do not lie in the side of business. However, even if you are not a business-minded person, you must acknowledge the fact that starting up a business is the only way for you to get out of the employee grind (unless you are already comfy sitting on top of that corporate ladder).

But even for people who are already CEOs and C-Suite “card holders”, starting a business is always a good idea because it can become a good source of revenue once you go into retirement.

This is why procrastinating on business ideas can be a good pastime that will make all of your time worthwhile despite spacing out at times.

Here are a few ways to prep yourself for good procrastination that leads to brilliant business ideas.


1. Focus on what you want.

If you want to come up with a business idea, then you might as well start with ideas that are relevant to your interests. Think of business opportunities that are close to your hobbies and general interests.

Keep in mind that your main goal here is to make use of the time you normally waste. Maintain focus and keep your mind on searching for business ideas instead of thinking of other things. Try to play around the concept. You just have to stay focused. Ensure your mindset is optimistic along the way.


2. Don’t limit yourself.

You will likely think of business ideas that you are afraid of to tackle … maybe because of a lack of knowledge and experience. However, if you limit yourself to things that you only know you won’t unlock your full potential.

This is a wrong notion to think you must know everything. After all, starting a business is supposed to be about expanding your horizons. There is no sure bet when it comes to entrepreneurship. Be willing to bet on yourself. Who knows?! It could be a learning experience that you can use later in life.


3. Take advantage of new scenery.

Since your goal is to come up with business ideas by procrastinating then you should do it in areas that spark your inner creativity. This means get out of your office or house and go for a drive to somewhere new. The new ambiance and scenery can influence your thoughts and imagination.


Photo: © armada1985, YFS Magazine
Photo: © armada1985, YFS Magazine


4. Don’t get frustrated.

Don’t expect to come up with a billion dollar business idea after your first procrastination session. Instead, consider this a new habit. Clean out your inner mental clutter and let the random, crazy and silly ideas flow.

Let knew thoughts come into you rather than forcing ideas. Don’t pressure yourself by setting a deadline for your next sure fire idea.


Getting rid of procrastination is really tough even if you are fully loaded with work. That is why making the best use out of it is a very smart move. As long as you are able to practice the tips mentioned above then you could surely come up with a fresh business idea that you can explore.

Just remember that your new business venture is not compulsory and you can even share it with a friend or a relative in case you do not want to pursue it yourself. At least, you were able to help out others in the process.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Charles Crawford is a high-level entrepreneur and co-founder of dental marketing firm Crawford and O’Brien. Charles has been studying internet marketing, web design, and tech startups for years, and he has been successful with multiple business ventures such as affiliate marketing (where 98%+ of people never make money). Connect with @crawfordobrien on Twitter.


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