Procrastination: the fine art of doing something other than what you should be doing. I say it’s an art because I have seen some extremely creative, focused and driven efforts to avoid doing certain things. In fact, I’ve often seen them because I am doing them.

ahh-procrastination

So, why do we do it? Are we avoiding something painful? Are we addicted to the rush of adrenaline that comes from finishing a mammoth task at the last minute? Do we lack the confidence or ability to achieve certain things? Or are we just damn lazy and unmotivated? From all I have read, the answer is yes. That is, yes to all of those things. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; I can be pretty darn productive while avoiding something else. I think that’s the secret to not wasting your procrastination. Put the PRO into procrastination. Procrastinate like a PRO! Procrastinate PROductively! PROmise to get shit done, eventually! (I’m sure there’s more PRO type examples to use and I will try to think of them. Later.)

Procrastibaking.

I first heard this term at a writing masterclass, spoken by Catherine Deveny. We were seated at a table, a big and diverse group. There was a food blogger, an ex-sex worker wanting to write her memoirs, a man wanting to write about atheism, other bloggers (like me) and aspiring novelists. When she mentioned procrastibaking, we all nodded. How many cakes, batches of muffins and loaves of banana bread have been baked purely so that someone who writes can put off that deadline, that convoluted plot or that muddled narrative? It’s an almost universal belief that food (especially cake) solves just about everything. So why wouldn’t it solve the problem of whatever we are avoiding? As an added bonus, we can improve our baking skills.

baking

Procrastireading.

There are a number of books in my collection that have literally been read to rags. I don’t read every book more than once, but when I do, I read it 26 times. Sometimes I’m reading for the pure joy of it, but quite often I’m reading FIERCELY because I convince myself that I must read this NOW, no time to mop the floor or weed the garden! I must find out what happens or I must read that certain scene again, just because. Reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary and learn new things. Win/win!

reading

Procrastifacebooking.

Scroll through newsfeed. Click like here, leave a comment there. That’s a good meme- hit share! Oooh, an article. Read. Love it. Share! Uh-oh, I’ve scrolled down to where I’ve already read. I should get ready for work… Refresh! New stuff in newsfeed! I’ll just have a little look. Oh, that’s hilarious. Sharing! Ooh, and article about (insert potentially controversial topic)- best not read the comments! Well, maybe just a peep…It’s a vicious cycle. The ultimate time waster, if you’re so inclined. Facebook and other social media sites are the procrastinator’s best friend. It’s not without value; you connect with people in different ways, engage in thoughtful discussion or debate or share a laugh. Or you can kill hours by reading mostly crap when you should be doing something else.

facebook

Procrastivision.

Avoiding stuff by watching television; it’s never been easier. Whether you’re a Netflix fan, a convert to Stan, a pay TV person or someone who can’t resist a DVD box set, there’s practically no excuse to not be watching something. Whether a new season goes live or you score a rare box set at a great price, you’ve just bought yourself hours of procrastination right there. Can’t quite justify why you have to watch it NOW? Don’t worry, you’ll think of something! Sometimes, I truly think it’s okay to just relax in front of the TV for a bit. It can help you unwind and there’s a lot to be said for a little escapism.

netflix

Procrastiblogging.

This is me. I’m studying at the moment but forever putting off doing boring assignments because “I must have something ready for my blog this week!”. This is a self-imposed rule. No one forces me to write stuff for my blog. I do it because I want to. But there are definitely times that I write here when I should be doing other things, usually my course work. In fact, I’m literally doing it right now. I’m half way through my course and my time is running out to finish it but it’s really quite dry and uninteresting. I don’t feel motivated by the tasks. I know it’s valuable and that I’ve learned a lot but it doesn’t thrill me in any way. So here I am, procrastiblogging away!

blogging

Procrasticleaning.

It must be bad, whatever you’re avoiding. Like, wisdom tooth extraction or organising a funeral type bad. (I haven’t had my wisdom teeth out yet, but I have cleaned to put off funeral organising) If cleaning is better or more preferable to whatever it is, I’m not judging you. In fact, I’d hand you another bottle of Windex and leave you to it.

cleaning

When Procrastination Isn’t Productive.

There are plenty of other ways to indulge your procrastination inclinations. Procrastidrinking is probably a less productive indulgence, with next-day repercussions that can hinder your efforts even further and lead to much more procrastination. Procrastibation is definitely a thing, too. Perhaps a less socially acceptable thing to use as an excuse when asked why you’re falling behind in your work or haven’t gotten dressed in a couple of days! Unproductive procrastination could be a red flag, warning you that you have exhausted productive options and are now doing something kinda pointless to avoid doing something that actually needs to be done.

Procrastionation: It Has It’s Place.

In this way, procrastination can be a useful tool. Not just because you might end up with an abundance of baked goods or a sparkling home but because recognising that you’re doing it is a prompt in itself. The trick is then remembering how good it feels to have your tasks out of the way compared to the stress of knowingly avoiding them. Which is why I’m going to spend the rest of the day on my coursework. Right after I finish baking a cake.

 

#IBOT @ Kylie Purtell.

PUT THE PRO IN

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  • Hahaha. Great post.
    I know I’m in strife when avoiding stuff leads me to procrasticleaning.
    At least the house gets clean though I suppose …

  • LydiaCLee

    My phone is my problem. I lose at least an hour a day – but I have become much stricter on how I use it…and when I use it.

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    Procrasticleaning is me – I dance, I make coffee, I dance some more, I drink water (because I need to stay hydrated) and I will avoid everything. It’s kind of fun though.

  • Lol Facebook and netflix and of course Instagram. Wish cleaning was my procrastination as at least it would be truly productive in a different way.

  • Procrastieating. It’s amazing just how many times you can visit the fridge you can make while trying to avoid getting a commission written.

  • I just read boy eats world’s comment. I am also very skilled at procrastieating and procrastifacebooking too 🙂

  • Procrasticleaning and procrasticatcuddling are my excuses. If the cat is asleep on me I will make this the perfect reason not to move. I don’t know why I do it. Or I do semi productive tasks but not the actual deep ones I should be focused on.

    • I had a good hour of cat snuggles today and it was worth it!

      • They are good for mental health and lower heart rate. So I see it as a benefit rather than procrastinating..

  • Ah, so much procrastination! I am struggling with having actual deadlines for the first time in years with going back to uni and having to get submissions in. Procrastibaking. Yep. Procrastifacebooking is a biggie here too haha

  • Hee hee! If only I was as good at getting stuff done as I was at procrastibaking and procrastifacebooking! I would be so productive!

  • LOL, the GIFs are so funny… I am such a nerd that my fave procrastination is to sort out all the emails in my inbox so that there are none left at all… quite useful! And have never procrasticleaned in my life! House is a mess. I think I have the opposite problem… tend to be impulsive and do things without thinking, bull in china shop situation… should get into thoughtful procrastibaking.

  • writeofthemiddle

    Procrastination is something I excel at! Procrastifacebooking has become a problem *gulp* – it’s like falling into an abyss and coming out hours later wondering where all the time went!

  • jess

    Yes to most of these! I wish I was a Procrastibaker, at least I would have tasty treats afterwards.

  • I’ve very good at all the procrastinating. Especially jumping from one to another when it starts to feel a little too productive.

  • Professional procrastinator here. I agree with the comment below – eating! All the time! And procrastipinterest can sap hours from your life!
    Great post x

  • Cate Brickell

    Procrasticrafting, it’s like procrastibaking but craft. These are the two things I excel at is procrastifacebook isn’t showing anything new.

  • This is very timely, as I have literally just Procrastifacebooked away the last three hours! I have so much to do but I just don’t wanna. It always happens on a Tuesday, my child-free day. There are so many things I should be doing, so many things I want to be doing (and the shoulds and wants are nowhere near the same thing!) and in the war between doing the shoulds and the wants I end up scrolling, scrolling, scrolling and next thing you know it’s 2:30pm and I gotta go get the kids. I think I need to get one of those blockers that blocks FB between 9am and 2:30pm on Tuesdays, just to force me to do something, anything else!

  • I’m a world class procrastinator… If there’s something that needs doing, count on me to be doing something else! Wholeheartedly!
    But not cleaning (NEVER cleaning! 😉 ).

  • I’m a huge procrasti-blogger. Like you I have set myself a certain amount of posts per week and it’s the deadline I tend to prioritise.

    • Silly, isn’t it! But we must like it or something 😉

  • Love this, I procrastibake so much I started a food blog which has lead to procrastiblogging and procrasifacebooking and procrastigramming when I’m not doing that I’m procrastipinning!!

  • Too funny I wrote about something similar today! xo

  • TeganMC

    I’m such a procrastinapper. I will nap instead of doing so many things.

  • Ha ha ha! I procrastitdy where I put things in piles to give the appearance of cleanliness when in fact everything is still ridiculously dirty. I think that means I’m moving into unproductive procrastination? Either way, I do all the above as well. Except procrastibation. I ain’t got time for that 😉

  • Denise Mooney

    I am awesome at procrasticleaning and procrastibaking, after that I reward myself with some procrastivision.

  • When I was marking 150+ Uni assignments on a 2 week deadline..I used to ‘reward’ myself every 5 or so papers to ‘procrastifacebook’ and I must admit it helped. God, that marking was hard! It was all by paper and using a pencil…and only 3 years ago. Glad, oh so glad to be ‘retired’. What are you studying, lovely?

    • Wow, that’s rough!
      A cert IV in professional writing and editing 🙂

  • I wish I could put procrastination on my resume because I excel! Facebook and cleaning are my weapons of choice… well I don’t choose, I just do!

    • Call it “social media management” and “sanitation engineering” and voila!

  • I so do procrastibake! I’ve never realised until now.

  • LOL I’m a procrasticleaner. It doesn’t happen to often though …

  • Helen King

    Procrasticleaning is how I get most of my stuff done. Such a thing (as is procrastisorting and procrastiresearching – very happy with my cheaper energy deal I signed up for while avoiding going to bed ‘on time’ last week)

    • I wish procrasticleaning held greater appeal for me!

  • Oh man, I am the queen of procrastinating by producing other stuff… I procrastiwrote a whole poem while I was trying to write my Pop’s eulogy. And I’ve become quite accomplished in procrastivision – specifically Netflix – to the point where my second draft (novel) is languishing while I try to watching all 7 seasons of Mad Men as quickly as possible. I just finished Season 4…

  • I wish I procrasticleaned more. It’s not my procrasti of choice, that’s for sure. I’m more social media / Netflix / going for a walk to get my ‘creative juices’ flowing inclined. I’m amazing at procrastinating. x

  • Procrastibaking? Never. But all others? Absolutely; queen of it!! Doing it right now.

  • Procrastifacebooking is the biggest time thief EVA!! Is there also a procrastiputtingfoldedclothesaway situation going on too? I suffer from that too – ugh!! Love this 🙂 #teamIBOT

    • Facebook sucks you right in and it’s too easy!

  • Tonight I’m procrastinating study but catching up on blog posts that I’ve linked up to but haven’t had time to comment in the past few days. Totally legit

  • It’s safer for you not to bake Hugzy 😉