By Maddy Standish
If you’re anything like me, then you deeply understand the plague of procrastination. I would confidently say that out of my somewhat (very) limited talents, this is one that I’ve inadvertently honed to perfection over the years. As they say, the best way to become good at something is to “practice, practice, practice”.
The problem with being so skilled in a subject is that it’s incredibly difficult trying to unlearn it. Yes, I know, it’s self-sabotaging, unproductive and detrimental to my work/life, but I’ve gotten to a point where the various means that I use to do it have actually become quite impressive.
However, I’m at a turning point. I’m about to be a student of the SCA.
The application process for the school was a wake-up call; my acceptance was like a wake-up scream. I’m beginning a second-wave of self-analysis and dissection – read: vivisection – of my personal shortcomings. If I don’t start addressing it now, I’m going to have a hell of a hard time once I’ve started the course.
Its time to say goodbye to sporadic cleaning sessions, face masking and online quizzes. It’s time to pull those socks up and face the music.
All that said though, quitting cold turkey is a struggle. So I’ve come up with a some handy tips about what you can do when you find yourself at Procrastination Station. Here are my tried-and-tested ways of being somewhat productive while still avoiding getting your shit done completely:
- Drink more water. This sounds simple but actually comprises of multiple steps: get up, go to the kitchen, fill up your glass, go back to your desk, take frequent sips and then repeat. Bonus: you will get up to go to the toilet more frequently. Bonus bonus: this will benefit your persistent stress-headache and/or hangover.
- Do more research. Actually over-research. You know that mood board or skit or Twitter account or TedTalk or book or that you think could perhaps maybe possibly be inspiring or useful? It’s time to watch, scroll and look into those. Again. It’s all research, I swear.
- Do one of those things you have to do that you’ve been putting off for ages. Book that dentist appointment, match up your odd socks, text that person back, call your mum. The last one tends to take a while and I’m betting she probably misses you a lot too.
- Consult your pet. If you’re working at home on your own, it can be difficult to self-motivate. I like to lie on the floor and beg for attention from one of my dogs. They tend to be indifferent to my work but they are affectionate and needy which helps. Bounce your ideas off them while getting your sweet, sweet serotonin levels up. It helps if you can teach them a system of one bark for yes and two for no, this way you can get the feedback you desperately need.
- Eat a lot. Brain food like salmon and whole grains, or heart food like chips and pizza. This is fuelling yourself and is totally vital for life. Therefore, even if you’re time-wasting, you are still doing something completely necessary to existence.
- Who knows, it might inspire you. You could collect them and save them for when you’re famous. Or you could make a collection and turn it into a book to flog when you inevitably lose your job from lack of focus.
- Wish everyone on Facebook a happy birthday. Even those people you met in the club toilets that one time. Especially those people, in fact.
Hope that these nifty little tricks can help you procrastinate more effectively.
If, like me, the amount of water you’re drinking and dogs you’re talking to is becoming detrimental to your life, then perhaps its time to sack it up and get going.
Just write anything.
Trust me, at least its something.
Look at me go. I wrote my first SCAB when I could have been watching telly or reading that memory book. Come to think of it, this is definitely the lesser of two evils.