As a professional procrastinator, I am uniquely qualified to guide you in putting off everything you should be doing but for whatever reason don’t want to do. I’m not particularly proud of this but I am good at it, and that’s something to be proud of. Right now, for instance, I should be writing and I am; I’m writing this post. But a post is not what I promised myself I’d write this morning. A chapter, for a book, is what I told myself I’d write. Clearly this is not a chapter for any book unless the book is about, you guessed it, procrastination. I guess I could write one but that would mean procrastinating on writing this post as well as the chapter I should be writing and, well, the thought of putting off two projects gives me extra crazy anxiety and at the moment I’m out of Ativan. So let’s dive in before I’m pulling apart the sofa cushions looking for strays.
How to procrastinate like a pro:
- Wake up and go straight to the task you promised yourself you would do. Realize, suddenly, that before you can start you need to pee. And brush your teeth. And have coffee. And maybe empty the dishwasher.
- Empty the dishwasher. Load any dirty dishes in the sink into the dishwasher because, well, they’re dirty and it’s available and you’re standing there so why not? Plus you know no one else will do it because they’ll see the dirty dishes, assume the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and because they’re not emotionally prepared to do that, it’s up to you to save the household. And maybe all mankind.
- Realize you’re now 30-40 minutes late in starting the project you planned to tackle first thing. Decide to shower so you’re refreshed and ready to go. But the hot water feels so good and you really should shave your legs and the little hairs that have appeared above your upper lip and since you’re doing all that, why not exfoliate your face. Heck, it only takes 30 seconds and besides, you really should let the mask you’ve applied to your hair sit for a little longer. Stand beneath the just-this-side-of-second-degree-burns hot water and psych yourself up. Say things like I’m ready! and Here we go! Get out. Dry off. And get dressed.
- But what to wear? Stand in your closet perplexed. Does the task you promised yourself you would do involved going to your desk? The potting shed? The basement to corral paint cans and brushes and drop cloths? Begin to grab items of clothing and stop — that shirt’s kind of itchy and, well, you do have that rash. Select something else and feel good because the whole process only took fifteen minutes which means you’re only about an hour or two or who knows? behind.
- Go to your desk or the potting shed or the basement or wherever you need to go to do the “thing,” and hear your stomach growl. Shit. You can’t concentrate when you’re hungry and God knows you don’t want to get light-headed on that ladder or lugging that big bag of mulch around or or or.
- Fix yourself something to eat. Get lost on social media while eating.
- Pull yourself away from the “mask vs no mask” debates raging on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and clean up. Put your dishes and those you discover in the sink and on the counter in the dishwasher. Pat yourself on the back for not killing someone and making the papers.
- Go directly to your desk, the potting shed, the basement or wherever it is you need to go to do the “thing” and discover the files you need are missing, you purchased the wrong kind of potting soil, you’re out of painter’s tape, etc., etc., etc.
- Stand there and curse and wonder if this is God’s way of telling you the “thing” is not supposed to get done today. I mean, what if you go searching for the files which are in storage up in the loft and you fall through the floor? Or you go to exchange the potting soil or pick up painter’s tape and stroll into an active shooter situation? I mean, what if God is trying to tell you to stop, cease and desist, do something else, dammit.
- Collapse on the sofa as a tsunami of relief floods your body. You could have been killed! Post to social media about your “brush with death.” Watch the comments and the “care” and “wow” emojis pour in and decide your friends are right. You need rest! You need to recover! Sink into the cushions, reach for the remote, and praise Jesus for sparing your life. And creating Netflix.