Prof. John Perry (Standford) might be onto something with his Structured Procrastination idea:
the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.
Source: Structured Procrastination
Now, if only someone came up with a way to use Structured Procrastination to increase productivity, that’d be a big hit. A recommended read.
Another interesting take is Paul Graham’s Good and Bad Procrastination. He basically proposes that we can use our resistance to a certain important task to get other less important tasks done. He agrees with Perry in that procrastination can be ‘good’:
There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. That last type, I’d argue, is good procrastination.
He also proposes guidelines for prioritization, such as “leave the right things undone” (work on important problems only).