How-To Procrastinate

December 11, 2007
By Katie Lamb, Santa Rosa, CA

Procrastination is a useful tool when it comes to not doing things that you don’t want to do but probably should be doing. Procrastination gets a bad rep because it is in fact not doing what you need to get done for no reason except reasons that you make up. Sometimes there isn’t even a reason at all for this putting off of work except that there is nothing you would rather do less, and there are plenty of things you would rather do more. However one must be cautious when about to procrastinate sometimes it may sound like a good idea to not do your Spanish homework because you would rather do nothing for the time you have away from Spanish class, but it can result in feeling worthless, useless, and effortless. Then again, the fact that it is effortless is sometimes exactly what you need; sometimes you just can’t put any more effort into something you’ve been putting effort into for eleven hours straight and that’s when procrastination skills come in handy. Here is how it is done.
First things first: you’re going to come home from school or sports practice or theatre rehearsal or something, thoughts of homework are going to enter your mind, but tell yourself its okay and that you have all night to do your homework you don’t even need to think about it yet. Relax. Tell yourself you deserve a break you just had practice and you are exhausted and hungry you’d be torturing yourself to start on your homework right away. Go to your kitchen and get yourself a snack to hold you over until dinner. Take 20 minutes to do so. Get yourself some water—hydration is important. Take some time to see if your mom has changed around anything in the kitchen or make a little blue’s clues style game for yourself and try to guess what’s going to be for dinner tonight, by things left around the cooking area.
Next you’re going to want to check your Email, but before you do so notice how disgracely messy your room is! Put away all clothes that are on the floor, take all your dirty laundry out of your room, and put away all of your clean laundry. Think about the last time you vacuumed your room was, but you can’t remember. Vacuum your room. Make your bed, but not just the throw everything on and pull the sheets to the top method. Take everything off fold the edges professionally (hospital style) then arrange the pillows so the tallest ones are in the back and the shortest ones are in the front. Tell yourself you wouldn’t have gotten anything done in that mess anyway. (If you are not the type to enjoy cleaning skip this step and go right to showering).
Get jealous of the fact that your room is now cleaner than you are since you just had practice wow you must feel disgusting go take a shower. Don’t take a short shower; take as long as you want make sure you will feel relaxed and refreshed by the time you are done. Make sure to do anything extra that you can possibly do while in the shower, organize the shampoo, shaving cream, and body wash bottles from tallest to shortest,
and then decide they would look better shortest to tallest and rearrange. Make sure to let the conditioner in your hair set for at least ten minutes before you rinse it out this ensures silky hair. When you think you’re done showering, stand under the hot water for five extra minutes before exiting. At this point you may want to refer to “How to Take a Shower.”
When you get out of the shower it should be about dinnertime. Put on your pajamas and go sit down with your family. Talk to your family about your day and what is going on with everyone. Eat and talk and take a long time to do so. Take an unusually great interest in what each family member is doing with his or her life and ask questions about their dinner time stories. Make sure when dinner is over you offer to clear the table, do the dishes or if you are not of the dish doing type suggest a family card game, or perhaps some Pictionary. Or let your family do the normal movie and tea session that you don’t usually attend because of your homework and go back to visit them and complain to them that you have so much work that you can’t stay and hang out. Act like you really want to hang out even though you know that if quality time with the fam meant anything except escaping from your work you would not be this fired up about it.
Download the latest House episode because you missed the Wednesday night showing. Go to a spot in the house where you don’t get as strong of a wireless internet connection so that the “downloading” process takes twice as long. While you’re waiting for your house to download, check your Myspace. Get really excited about your new picture comments, messages, and friends requests. Return that comment that guy who’s a friend of a friend’s friend dropped you about how you guys have to hang out sometime, with a “yeah totally” even though you know it will never happen because most myspace conversations with people you don’t actually know or who are almost acquaintances are fake.
By this time in your procrastination process (if you haven’t already) you are going to start to feel guilty, or as if something has been lurking in the dark places of your mind compelling you to actually accomplish something. The whole evening you have been feeling pretty worthless inside after all you have been putting off important things. Take these feelings of guilt and let them drive you to actually do your work now. Break out the books, write that essay, study for that quiz whatever it may be and just do it, no turning back. There’s nothing to hold you back or distract you now you’ve done all you can do. Unless of course you still think sitting with your feet propped up on the wall contemplating how weird your feet look still sounds more appealing then your work and you’re not worried about an even bigger guilt trip to come tomorrow.

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