The art of procrastinating; it is a skill learned through trial and error. Though perhaps a skill I wish I did not possess, it is one that I have perfected. I am lucky that I am often able to work through my desire to procrastinate, however, there are some days, some assignments, which overpower my will. Often I have found that in these times procrastinating for a short amount of time can be helpful toward the end product being of the calibre it should be. In this case, being able to effectively procrastinate is important to getting back into a productive mode.
So, how do you effectively procrastinate? I have found that if I simply do nothing, my mind is on what I should be doing. Not allowing myself that procrastinating break I need. This means that the time procrastinating is extended because I am aware that I need to be getting it done, but just do not want to. This leaves me feeling guilty and generally does not motivate me to get moving again.
The secret to procrastinating effectively is finding another project that you have been meaning to get done, but have not found the time: in my case, it is because I dedicate all my time to school work and can’t bring myself to take a break. This means I have an endless supply of projects at the ready for when I need to procrastinate, guilt-free. For example, in the last week I have successfully avoided working on a paper by redoing the bathroom, painting the cabinets, and replacing all the hardware, I have also gone through the entire kitchen emptying all the cupboards and reorganizing (as well as donating a large box to the thrift store), and completely reorganized my office space. I find this is effective because normally these are tasks that (aside from painting) I dislike and often can’t find myself motivated to dig in to, but when I am avoiding a paper these things suddenly do not seem so bad!
This results in successful, guilt-free, procrastination. At the end of the day I feel like I have accomplished something that needed to be done. And, I have taken a break from a paper that I needed to get some space from. It’s a way of refreshing your mind and organizing your life. I feel like I have achieved something and, therefore, do not feel guilt-ridden because I have not done much (or anything) on my paper. I am able to look at what I accomplished and know that my procrastination was not in vain.
Being skilled in the art of procrastination can be a blessing. At least when I procrastinate I get a lot accomplished around the house, or elsewhere, that has likely been needing my attention for some time. These tasks become less menial and I enjoy the process while I take a break from school and avoid my paper. It winds up being a win-win situation for me, and for my house. Corners that have been neglected are suddenly spruced up and that feeling of accomplishment leaves me feeling like I can tackle anything: including that darn paper.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature