It’s taken me a while to write this post, but at least that’s in keeping with the topic! Today I got on with it straight away, so I hope I’m not beginning to lose the fine art of Procrastination. They said they’d make a degree in the subject before too long. We’re still waiting…
For many people procrastination is a naturally-acquired skill, but if you feel at risk of starting a pressing task then these are some quick and easy remedies. Here are my top tips:
- Make a cup of tea (or coffee) – Tea is better than instant coffee, as brewing takes time. Google articles about the optimum length to brew tea – and make sure you read several viewpoints. Return to your tea, only to discover that it’s stewed. Chuck it out and start again. Then you realise that you’ve run out of milk. You can’t bring yourself to drink it without milk today (life’s hard enough) and you can’t start working until you’ve had a cuppa… Time for a trip to your local shop.
- Replace the task with another important job – As I was writing this blog post my mind wandered to next week’s OU assignment. Before I knew it I had my study books open. It makes sense to procrastinate a blog post about procrastination with an important piece of work. How can anyone make you feel guilty about that?
- Do something that you’ve been nagged about for a while – This is another great way of sidestepping the guilt-factor. You’re supposed to be doing your tax return, but suddenly discover that the dirty dishes are taking over your kitchen. Get on your rubber gloves and make a start. It’s perfect; you won’t have to hear, ‘Do the dishes!’ anymore, and you can feel good about yourself while successfully delaying the joy of financial forms.
- Cleaning – You discover thick dust that has been collecting for a few months. It’s not healthy. In fact, once you’ve noticed it then it’s likely to make you ill instantly. Clean it up, and look for other surfaces that are equally disgusting. They need your attention right now. Tidying your room is always good, preferably with energetic use of the vacuum cleaner. If it’s tidying and cleaning that you’re trying to procrastinate then get on with some kind of written work…You get the picture.
- Social media – Yes, Facebook, Twitter etc…This is particularly important if you’re working at your computer. Make sure those distractions are right there. Have your phone on beside you. Text five friends who you haven’t talked to in years, because it’s important that you find out how they are, and preferably get into a long, deep conversation. If this doesn’t work then head over to Youtube. That should do it.
- Putting friends first – You sit down to do some work, but then your best friend sends you a message saying, ‘Hi, how’s it going?’ Don’t take that to be as casual as it seems – they obviously need your instant attention. Meet up with them; go for a walk, have a long heart-to-heart, eat a leisurely lunch…Ignore the negative voice in your head that says you only saw them the night before.
- A little rest and watch some TV – Maybe you’re a hard worker in general and people keep telling you that you should ‘rest more’. Well this is a perfect procrastinating excuse – you’re finally ‘looking after yourself’, so who are they to judge you? Three hours later and it’s obviously not the time to start working. Have an early night.
- Read a blog post on the subject – Need I say more? You’re already a pro!
I have plenty more procrastination tips, but it’s such a beautiful day, so I think I’ll go for a walk first. Actually, it’ll be lunch time by then…