If you're not procrastinating, I don't know what the hell it is that you're doing with your life. Would you rather spend the best years of your life doing mainstream things like “making a career”, “exercising”, and “studying”? Or would you rather take control of your life and do whatever you want to do with it? With this entire wave of new age self-help authors constantly telling us that “procrastination is bad for you”, it is easy to lose perspective. That's why I'm here, I'm here to turn you from a beginner procrastinator into a real pro. Before you begin, you might be interested in knowing why procrastination is good for you, there are obvious advantages of excelling in procrastination, let me tell you just a few:
- It's an art from, most alpha males an personality type A folks can't take a stab at it if their very life depended on it. It's like any skills, it's easy to be good at it, but the learning curve is steep yet rewarding.
- It takes your mind off the big issues in life, sure, those issues will return with a vengeance to bite you back, but then you can just step your procrastinating skills up a notch.
- It's a way to find out new hobbies, and if you're lucky enough, you might just find your calling in life. Well, what? Maybe you'll really enjoy polishing your silverware!
- It's the most effective expectation management tool out there, if your parents find you sorting a pile of coins in order of how old they appear to be instead of studying, it sends a clear message – you're going to do what you're going to do.
- It's easy. Let's face it, scorching the internet for the top ten books in Calculus is a much kinder activity than actually picking up one book and studying derivatives and finding the area of bounded regions.
Stage one: From sucking at it to humble beginnings
Although I believe that everyone is born with a healthy tendency to procrastinate, societal conditioning and well meaning advice might have stifled your aptitude for it somewhat. Word of advice before we begin - whatever you do, never pick a task that you're not supposed to do in the first place (like killing people, vandalizing property or listening to The Friday Song), this is because when you actually don't do it, no one is going to give you any credit for that.
Moving forward, if you really suck at procrastinating, your best best is to start with a high difficulty task. A high difficulty task is one that makes you want to pull the hair off your scalp and run over people with your car. Few of them that I have identified are exercising, studying, reaching office, working, keeping in touch with people and cleaning your room.
What you do at the first step is select any one such task and make yourself believe that you're really going to do it, visualize yourself working on your desk in the office, daydream about running on a treadmill, imagine yourself giving a really tough exam. If you do this well enough, you will soon realize that you're suddenly doing all these things instead of the activities themselves. Welcome to The Matrix!
Stage two: Details, details, details!
This is the phase where you find that you're doing okay at procrastinating but still haven't reached the level of proficiency that you wanted to. Worry not, there are ways to get over this plateau phase. You have to get really creative and start focusing on the details. Unfortunately, the only way to explain this technique is by example.
Let's say you have to go running, first there are some obvious things that you can do – carefully take your shoes out from the shoe rack, oh but what's this? There's dust on the shoe rack! Get a wet cloth and start wiping the shoe rack till the time it's absolutely squeaky clean. In your effort, you'll note that water doesn't quite cut it as a cleaning agent – so Google for the ten best cleaning solutions available in the market. Head to the market to buy the one that has the most positive customer reviews. Start reading labels of random products at the market, if you have an internet enabled phone, you should log in and Google for every term that you don't understand. It always pays to be a well informed consumer.
My point is, the universe is limitless, why have you been holding yourself back from all these endless permutations and combinations of activities that you can do? It's as stupid as going to Disneyland repeatedly just to have a big mac.
Stage three: Professional procrastination with fillers
Life can be long, boring, tedious and pointless. Sooner or later you will run out of things to do, even with the knowledge of all the doors to alternate realities that you just learnt about. One day, you will get sick of putting things off. That's the time for you to hit Ninja level in procrastination. Start by putting off putting things off, in simpler terms it is called procrastinating procrastination.
After reading the last sentence, you might think that I'm nuts because the ideas are canceling each other out, but I know very well what I'm talking about. What I'm doing here is that I'm assuming that by this point, your entire life is an example of procrastination, with no further space for improvement. That's when you start putting off the act of procrastination itself by introducing fillers in your life, fillers are little insignificant things that become habits and then consume a nice chunk of your time every day of the week and every day of the year. The most obvious and effective filler is smoking, if you smoke 10 cigarettes a day, and assuming that the average time to smoke one cigarette is 5 minutes – that's a whole 50 minutes in a day spent procrastinating your procrastination. The number adds up quickly too, at this rate, you will spend 12.5 days of your life every year just by this one filler!
Luckily for you, there are many other fillers so you can pick and choose your favorite ones, here are the recommended ones: masturbating, staring at a wall, sex, solving crossword and sudoku and developing obsessive compulsive disorders.
I'm going to come up with a good way to end this brief but powerful guide on procrastination, soon. Till that time... oh wait, this thing needs better fonts... by the way, did you know that the two basic families of fonts are called Serif and Sans Serif? Of course, everyone hates Comic Sans. Oh! Comics! My favorite is Calvin & Hobbes, they have all their strips archived from the 1980s online... “online?” What does that even mean?