Are you procrastinating? Or is it "sagacious delay?"

Editor's Note: Here's a guest post from Marcella Allison, founder of Titanides, a private online community of female entrepreneurs, copywriters, and marketers. It was originally an email from Marcella to her membership, inspired by a comment I made at the end of the Metis training I presented in August 2021 for her members on how to position yourself as an expert. But of course, I wanted to repurpose it for my blog. So here it is....

Last week we had a great Metis training on Expert Positioning with Ilise Benun, the founder of Marketing-Mentor.com, the go-to online resource for creative professionals who want better projects with bigger budgets. 

One of the things I love most about Ilise is her steady, calm energy and the intense quality of her attention. It’s why I chose her as one of my first mentors over 15 years ago. Because she never seems rushed or frantic when we work together.

And last week was no exception…

At the end of our training, Ilise reminded us that you don’t have to rush into anything. You can build things slowly and steadily. You can take your time. You don’t have to constantly push.

Ilise went on to share a new term with me I hadn’t heard before, "sagacious delay.”

"Sagacious delay" (not to be confused with procrastination) comes from “sage” meaning wise as in “wise delay.”

It’s a really old idea that can be helpful when you don’t know what to do next, but you feel pressured to make a decision or to act.

Here’s how Ilise explains it, “Instead of jumping on a bandwagon, giving in to impulse or external pressure, you take the time and distance you need. You wait for the right moment or simply until something changes. You wait until you're ready, before taking action.” 

What a radical idea. Going slow and trusting your intuition instead of going fast and pushing hard.

Back when I was writing financial copy full time, it seemed like every project came down to this massive crisis in the last week with all of us working non-stop and everyone living on Red Bull and vitamin B supplements.

This constant urgency is addictive in some ways. It makes you feel important, driven, critical...

But it also burns you out.

Another mentor of mine, Mary Pierce Brosmer, once said to me, “Marcella, urgency is the currency of the patriarchy.” It cracked me up, but there’s a lot of truth in it. Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my life running around trying to solve urgent problems for impatient men.The very opposite of “sagacious delay.”

But I’m working on changing my addiction to urgency.

Last week I was faced with a difficult decision.

Keep pushing the team and myself hard, driving towards a big Titanides event in September…

Or step back and take time to reevaluate. To plan. To rest. To put more resources together and delay until October.

After talking with the team and attending the Metis training with Ilise, I knew it was time for a wise delay.

No guilt or shame. Just taking the necessary time to recalibrate.

Tell me, have you been pushing yourself hard towards a goal? Are you starting to question if this is even the right goal for you right now?

Instead of pushing yourself harder, ask yourself, do you need to make time for a “sagacious delay” instead?

Sometimes the best things really do come to those who wait wisely.

Marcella

P.S. When you’re ready, the best way to take full advantage of everything Titanides has to offer is by becoming a full-fledged Titanides member. Research shows that women who take advantage of women-only networks benefit from 250% greater pay and more authority. To get started today, please click here.

And if you like this idea, here's a video where Ilise talks about sagacious delay and here's the first blog post in which she introduces the idea.