I am an incredibly motivated individual, unless my novel needs re-drafting, then I drag my feet around the house, whining like an excited whippet. The literary beast that is my novel, doesn’t just need taming, it needs to be slaughtered and resurrected. Hence my reluctance to engage. I can’t be the only person putting off something painful, so I thought I would share nine proven procrastination techniques in hope that it helps others on their way to becoming more efficient procrastinators.
- Read Facebook arguments.
I’m not just talking about pages that you follow and topics that interest you. Click on some random, sponsored pages, that are advertising products you would never buy, discussing celebrities you have never heard of, or pushing political views you could not care less about. Then all you need to do is expand the comments with the most spelling mistakes and read away until you are depleted of all intelligent thoughts.
- Plan a holiday that you can’t afford and won’t take.
Is Hawaii on sale again? Click on the link, select some dates, think about how much baggage allowance you would need and which pram you would take for those long hikes up to the open mouths of volcanos. Check the weather information for that time of year. Calculate the age your children will be by then. Imagine wearing leis, drinking pineapple cocktails, and reading entire books in one sitting. Then close every window so that you can start afresh next time.
- Write down a list of tasks in order of importance.
Writing them in order is essential. That way, when you start doing random jobs that are not on the list, you will still have a well-thought-out strategy for the following day. Or the next day. You can extend this technique by rewriting the list into a daily planner that you never check.
- Open the cupboards in your child’s room.
Stand with one door handle in each hand and take in the sight of chaos before you. Observe every unused item, messy pile of bassinet linen from the bassinet you no longer own, toy part, instruction manual, and random collection of hand-me-down clothes that you have forgotten about. Then just let your instincts take over.
- Stand in front of a wall with a wet wall-eraser.
You’ll soon spot a dirty mark. And then another. Once you start you will not stop until every wall in the house is spotless. This technique is perfect for long days.
- Call your partner and tell them how you don’t have enough time to get everything done.
Make sure you have your list on hand. This technique works best if you talk them through every small, painful detail. Don’t be afraid to use a sore-throat-sick-voice to better communicate your stress.
- Tell your kids that you want to do something that doesn’t centre around them.
If you are stupid enough to try and work with kids at home, then this one is a must. You won’t even need a big announcement. Simply divert your gaze to an electronic device/book/important document, and they will arrive with a suspicious liquid/leaky pen/sticky hands.
- Allow yourself ONE video on YouTube and then don’t touch the keyboard.
According to YouTube, the autoplay feature ‘makes it easier to decide what to watch next. After you watch a YouTube video, we’ll automatically play another related video based on your viewing history’. Hours of procrastination without lifting a finger.
- Pretend you are fifteen-years-old and get on Snapchat.
When the walls are clean and I am struggling to find a reason to not write. I engage Snapchat. Hubby is the main victim of my musings (and my niece – we’re both gen Y which makes us basically the same age). If you are wondering how one goes about implementing this tool for procrastination purposes, take a look at some of the ‘messages’ my adult husband, the one with the grown-up job and responsibility of staying employed so that we can eat, receives at his place of employment…