Everyone thinks they are a determined procrastinator, however in reality procrastination is a delicate balance between achieving nothing at all and finding something else entirely to do. I would go as far as to say that true procrastination is an art – and without being big-headed, it is one that I have perfected. Many think that procrastinating is simply doing nothing – but a faithful procrastinator knows that it involves much more than that. For all you perfectly productive people, I have provided a point-by-point ‘Procrastinator’s Guide’.
- Making a brew
In general, making your circumstances under which you are expected to do work is of vital importance. Temperature, hydration and fuel are all key to being able to get into the work mindset. A good procrastinator can spend a healthy amount of time fiddling about with heating, blankets, and food provisions, before declaring the situation ‘just right’ to settle down to work. And of course, getting up to make a cuppa is a perfect way to put off an unwanted task – especially if you’re particularly thirsty. After all, you can’t possibly work without a warm drink on the go.
- Having a lie down
A good pianist friend of mine once confessed that when a whole day was set aside for rehearsing with his band, he would spend approximately 30 minutes practising, and the rest of the time split fairly equally between having a cuppa and lying down on the floor. Whereas I’m sure he could procrastinate even further by extolling the virtues such a position has on his shoulder muscles (and between you and me, he does like to wang on) but the truth is that this is a form of procrastination. On the spectrum of procrastination, it is in a grey area between actively procrastinating (finding something, anything other to do than what you’ve been asked) and just being lazy and doing nothing at all. However the truly avid procrastinator would be able to justify a little lie down before cracking on with their work – as below:
“I’m really tired, so if I lie down for a bit first I will be well rested enough to start my work/job/task.”
- Checking social media/emails/texts
These can put off ANY task. I can spend hours answering emails at work seemingly without achieving anything. There is always a friend to text or email which takes vital importance on my to-do list and MUST be done immediately despite looming deadlines. I can loop various social media sites endlessly – thus putting off any form of productiveness at all. I think the time to end doing this endless looping of social media only comes when you are doing it so often that nothing new has happened since the last time you checked it…but then there is always a new form of social media to get involved in…
- Tidying up/cleaning
I like things to be tidy before I start work. Not just in some semblance of order tidy, but TIDY. Monica from Friends tidy. This provides an excellent excuse to postpone the start of a work task – binning various useless pieces of paper, taking empty cups (from all those cups of tea) down to the kitchen, then obviously using the time in the kitchen to decide to clear out all the old spices in the cupboard that have been there for years, (why, oh why are they sticky?!) before returning to your work area to sharpen your pencils and test all your old pens. An ideal way to make sure that work isn’t done any time soon!
5. Doing life-admin
Isn’t it funny how as soon as you settle down to do some work you remember that bill you wanted to set a direct debit up for and you decide to do it there and then? Or you decide to do some essential research into a new energy provider (after all you could probs save some money). So vital to do these tasks straight away, rather than anything else. Or you could even spend some time that you definitely have into dreaming up a new career…
How do you procrastinate? Which method do you favour when you have an unwanted pressing task?