By Sophie McNaughton
After being in education for around fifteen years and still willing subjecting myself to this torture, I have found that developing a colourful array of procrastination techniques is vital to maintaining my sanity as well as giving my brain the rest it needs in order to have that magical 5 minute window of productivity. It usually goes like this: 5 minutes of work, an hour rest, 5 minutes of work, done for the day.
I can empathise the plight of being a student and the vicious cycle of (1 month before the deadline) “This time I am going to be so organised! I am going to start studying tonight and I will write at least two drafts of the essay. I will go to the library and take out books to research. I will make mind maps and essay plans. No leaving things to the last minute this time. I have definitely learned my lesson!” (The day before the deadline during a stress-induced nervous meltdown interspersed with hysterical sobbing) “Why?! Why did I leave everything to the last minute? I’m going to fail!”
Since I have now come to the conclusion that a part of me must actually enjoy these breakdowns, in a sadistic kind of way, I have decided to embrace the chaos and dedicate myself to becoming a full-time procrastinator extraordinaire (and yes, it is a legit career choice, don’t you judge me). I have found that when the cold-sweat panic of leaving studying until the last minute sets in, you’ll be so flustered that the essays, equations and reports will come flying out of you in no time. My epiphany has led me to such a serene and carefree state of mind that I have decided to spread the joy, share my secrets with you lucky ducks and give you a step-by-step guide to becoming the ultimate putting-things-off-er. Our first order of business is: procrastinating with animals.
If you a have a dog, you could partake in the conventional activity and take them out for a walk but this requires effort and movement and these are the kinds of reckless productivity we are trying to avoid, ain’t nobody got time for that! Instead, try something more creative and pointless, such as training your dog to dance.
Or dress up your dog in people clothes! They LOVE that.
Or if you have a cat instead, there is an endless list of fun things you can do with your furry best friend, including: using your artist’s eye to create complex and abstract compositions in which to take pictures of your majestic creature in all their glory #photography
Or let your cat shred your study notes and textbooks so that you have a perfectly valid excuse for why you failed your assignment so miserably.
Or the classic squeezing your cat in a borderline choke hold and telling them how much you ‘lovey dovey love’ them for hours on end.
If you don’t have a dog or cat, first of all, you need to re-evaluate every aspect of your being, but secondly, another thing you can do instead of studying is research online what kind of pet will be suitable for you #perfectmatch
Moving from animal related passing-time-without-doing-anything-productive trickery, watching countless YouTube clips is also a skill you will need to master in order to become a procrastinator extraordinaire. The videos I would most highly recommend are by none other than lazy lifestyle guru and philosopher, Jenna Marbles. If you haven’t heard of or viewed any of Jenna’s insightful works then you are only a level one procrastinator and you need to get your shit together.
You could also build up your knowledge of useless trivia by googling the things that have always mystified you, like: Why do crabs sideways? How do cats making that purring sound? Can snakes really eat a fully grown human all in one go? How long do elephant pregnancies last? Why did T-rex’s have such short arms? Do cats have thumbs? Or, where are my cars keys?
In addition to Google, the Holy Grail of pointlessness, some other useless things to do include: online shopping (there’s nothing like spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need to waste time); make a fort out of your bed sheets; put on a facemask; or you could try literally climbing the walls.
After the internet has bored you senseless, it’s probably time to move on to TV. In order to fill up your wasted day of procrastinating to its full capacity, I would recommend picking a series and getting through as many episodes as possible in a 24 hour period. Game of Thrones would be my personal choice. (If you are not already watching this, like the not-having-any-pets scenario, you need to sort out your priorities.)
If boredom reaches such spectacular heights that you wouldn’t mind actually moving around to cure your tedium, you could try a new sports activity, for example take a leave out of Drake’s book and become a neck-hula-hooper.
So there you have it. A handbook to the school of procrastination that will transform you from a beginner to a pro in one day. After you have thoroughly wasted a whole day, feelings of guilt may begin to bubble up so instead of dealing with them like this.
Instead, take a more positive approach.