Just Do It (Later)
Make procrastination your reliable, new best friend with these three helpful tips.
By Olivia W. McCoy, University of Georgia
The school year is in full swing, midterms are approaching and that adrenaline kick from the beginning of the semester is wearing off as you succumb to Senioritis.
Contrary to its name, any school age human is susceptible to this sudden onset laziness. Symptoms include: Excessive sleeping, lack of effort and overwhelming dread. The only known practice for curing Senioritis is to complain and whine incessantly about the work you have to do without actually doing it. However, even this has shown little improvement in practice for the patient’s outlook on academic life. Senioritis is known to be fatal to all GPAs and resumes, despite potential.
And with Senioritis comes procrastination—procrastination city, procrastination overload, ALL of the procrastination. Face it, your work is NOT getting done today, and that’s ok! All you need is something else to do and a way to get people off your back about it.
Here are the three steps for the most efficient procrastinating of your life.
1. Get Over the Negative Associations
First and foremost, you must allow yourself to procrastinate. Yes, people will judge you. Yes, you may feel a little shameful and guilty afterwards. But hopefully, after reading this article, you won’t have to worry about those two things anymore!
Procrastination is totally normal and sometimes better than just getting something over and done with. I don’t know about you, but all my best work has been done when under an extreme amount of pressure.
If you’re one of those people that puts a lot of pressure on yourself, you deserve a break. Chill out, smell the roses. Literally. I’m telling you to leave your house, and go to a park. Play on the swings. Go down the slide. Let go of some of that stress for just a second, and I bet you’ll feel tons better and ready to get to work.
For those of you that are regular subscribers to the practice, welcome back. I hope these tips make the act of not doing important things a little more enjoyable for you.
2. Avoid Guilt with the Illusion of Productivity
Postponing your work isn’t a perfect science; it’s usually accompanied by a fat buttload of soul crushing guilt. This self-condemnation contains everything from I’m-a-terrible-student-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life complex to my-parents-would-be-SO-disappointed-in-me-itis, none of which is all that appealing.
So shut up your conscience with the illusion of productivity! Get those chores done! Do the dishes that are stacked up past your sink’s brim (seriously, black fuzz does NOT belong in a Fruit Loop), vacuum UNDER the couch, not just around it, alphabetize your bookshelf, color coordinate your paperclips by the level of rust due to lack of use, dust behind picture frames, etc.
Or perhaps it’s housework you’re flinching from. In that case, plant a tree, save the environment, build a birdhouse for the pigeon that greets you every morning with a fresh dump on your windshield (be the bigger man), hunt down that pigeon with the birdhouse peace offering doesn’t pan out, or, last case scenario, do your homework in avoidance of housework. That’s right, it goes both ways.
What I’m getting at here is that there are a million things you can do to evade your responsibilities.
And this way, you’re still getting things done, just, not things that necessarily need to get done. At least you can feel a little bit better about it.
3. Rename It
Arguably the second worst thing about procrastinating, after guilt, is the heaping shame you’ll receive from anyone and everyone that discovers you’re dawdling. To get out of this one, you’ll have to come prepared.
Arm yourself with misleading answers to the question “What are you doing?”
For example, say you’re reading a magazine, ogling over Orlando Bloom’s nude scene in his next film (who wouldn’t?) and gasping at the newest celebrity dumping. When your roommate walks up behind you and asks what you’re doing with their eyebrow suspiciously raised, your best response is to answer all-knowingly with, “Keeping abreast of current events.” Well, you’re not lying by leaving out the actual importance of these “current events.”
When you’re under the covers with your laptop, just you and your Netflix, cut off from the rest of the world, and your mom calls, your response better be, “Updating my cultural references,” in order to avoid the agonizing pain of an over-the-phone lecture.
How about when you’re getting acquainted with your good friend Mary-Jane. When the cops pull up, you can just shrug it off and mention you’re studying the correlation between ecology and the human mind.
SIDE NOTE: JUST KIDDING. DO NOT SASS AN OFFICER. IT WILL NOT GO OVER WELL.
Finally, you crawl out of your den to fetch some nutrients in the form of marshmallows. What could your excuse possibly be for this situation? Easy, you’re simply concerned about your own welfare and resting your mind in preparation for the work that is about to be done. Eventually. You hope.
Here’s a tough one. Your dog catches you procrasturbating (for those of you that don’t know, that’s masturbating for the sake of procrastination). Well OBVIOUSLY you’re just familiarizing yourself with your body and taking care of your sexual health. No sweat.
Get the point? It doesn’t matter what you do, just have an excuse to go with it.
In conclusion, procrastination is a beautiful thing. Why do today what you can do tomorrow an hour before the deadline? The question remains.