Home / Tricks of the Trade / Procrastinate like a pro

It goes a little bit like this.

Webster’s Dictionary:

Me:

Sure, cool.

The rest of the world:

Me:

Although procrastination can certainly be detrimental for productivity, it can also be a godsend—depending on how you go about it. That’s precisely why articles like this or sites like this one rub me the wrong way. No, I don’t believe my life is “slipping away” or that I suffer from “lack of self-control” just because sometimes I don’t feel like immediately completing the task at hand. Like Chandler would say: Could you BE any more judgmental? That kind of negative thinking makes me want go all:

But here’s what I believe: There’s no such thing as wasted time. You can learn something out of every experience. Life is what you make it.

Still with me? Yay! That hopefully means you’re considering giving procrastination a chance, and you should, because ultimately, it’s going to benefit you the most.

Now, the million-dollar question: HOW? How do you go from being a simple task-avoider to become a master of procrastination? Well, funny you should ask—I just so happen to have a few ideas right here that you can give a try.  

Yes, but relax, I got you.

1) Have a list of TO-DOs that are simpler or more fun as your go-to activities, like paying the electricity bill, watering your succulents, (finally) framing those posters you’ve had laying around for a while, or even work-related ones like searching for those stock images you need for that project. Completing ANY of those activities will instantly turn your procrastination into unexpected productive time. You know what they say, it’s the small wins…

2) Stimulate your body and mind. No, I don’t mean go for a 60-minute run and then read Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I mean do something that will awaken your soul, and potentially your muscles, if it involves a good laugh. For example, call an old friend (no agenda, just to say hi), do a quick 5-minute stretch sesh (you can find tons on YouTube), or re-watch that really good movie that made you go “WHOA” (for me, the most recent one would be Joker). If you can’t think of anything, you can always check these out (can never go wrong with The New Yorker cartoons):

3) Use that “Ugh, don’t feel like doing THAT” energy to do what you love. I know, I know, “what you love”? Yes, it sounds mega cheesy but hear me out. If you’re anything like me, who gets super annoyed when you’re being told what to do (even if you told yourself), suddenly being faced with doing something you don’t want to do makes you realize what you’d rather be doing. Bingo! Now, there’s no excuse. Again, for me, it will most likely default to a DIY home project (God knows, nothing I love more than those “I built-it-myself” end tables). So, take a few minutes and think, what would you do if you didn’t have to complete that “must do” task? You’re already thinking of multiple things? Even better, flip a coin and pick one. Regardless of if it gets completed or not, just get started on it. There’s a big chance that will inspire you to get all your other sh*t done.

4) If you don’t feel like doing any of the above, and on top of it have been feeling sluggish and tired, I’d consider the possibility that you might be in desperate need of some TLC. Take a long bath or a power nap, enjoy it, and move on. Not EVERYTHING you do has to be about having something to show for it. Our bodies need down time, away from technology, to reboot—and that’s not me saying so, that’s Seth Meyers—and you can’t really argue with Seth Meyers, can you?

Nope? Not feeling it? By now (the end of the post), there’s a chance you just don’t agree with any of this, and that’s cool—HOWEVER, you are probably reading this in an effort to avoid another “more important” task you need to do, yet you’re not doing it. Sooooo, I kinda just helped you procrastinate, and on top of that you learned that you and I do not agree on this particular subject. You just learned something.

That’s what I call a win-win.