How to Procrastinate


[Looking for fresh ideas for things to write about, I came across a suggestion to “write a how-to about something you do well.” I found that idea kind of inspiring, and immediately wrote out a list of topics. I don’t profess to be an expert, but there are a few areas where I am quite competent. Not wanting to look like a know-it-all, I’ll spread these “How-To” blogs out over several months, to fill in when I don’t have any other topic. Happy learning!]

Not everyone procrastinates. That’s okay; it’s not for everyone. It certainly has its downsides. Many folks would be wracked with guilt over disappointing themselves, or others. Many couldn’t stand the tension of unfinished projects, missed deadlines, and commonplace delays. It takes a strong constitution to be a good procrastinator. If you want to pursue it, though, I can give you a few pointers.

First, have several areas of interest. It’s difficult to set one thing aside, without another thing to take it’s place. And, though it’s all subjective, and the value of a specific task might vary from day to day, it is helpful to have projects of similar importance. I’m pretty easy, but even I have a hard time convincing myself that it’s okay to avoid doing my taxes in order to binge watch old episodes of Friends. Much easier, for instance, to decide that putting up the new garden fence, or cleaning out the hall closet is something that absolutely cannot wait.

Along those same lines of thought, keep jobs in the queue that could really use attention. You will find yourself never more proficient at tackling a project as you are when using it to put off doing something else. With practice, you’ll learn to use this to your advantage. I won’t guarantee that you’ll ever get to the tax forms but, if you work it right, you could get thank-you cards sent, have gleaming appliances, and be in the best shape of your life!

Stay away from hard deadlines. Whenever you can, use phrases like “sometime,” or “in the future.” Do not add “soon” or “not-too-distant” to those phrases. I rarely find any reason to refer, for good example, to our past president, but I have to say, Trump was a master at the vague “sometime in the future” standoff! Avoid, like the plague, any time limits that depend on a clock, or a calendar.

Finally, learn to live with anxiety. Unmet deadlines and unfinished projects, though physically ignored, will still play on your mind. Even when the hall closet is so organized it could star on Pinterest, the uncompleted tax forms will still impart a sense of unease. In quiet moments, guilt will rise up over unmet promises and deferred plans. These are the consequences; I have found no way to eliminate them.

That’s basically it. These are the fundamental guidelines for becoming a master deferrer. You’ve got to have a plan, and a plan for putting it off. And you must be strong. That’s it. Godspeed. Go forth and dilly-dally!

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

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