True Story Tuesday: How to Procrastinate Effectively

Over here at The Point, we get that your time is precious, that’s why we wouldn’t waste it by telling you to drop everything and go study. There are hundreds of articles teaching you how to quit procrastinating and get things done. Experts from around the globe compete with each other to find the most “out of the box” way to get you to study stronger, but as the great Phil Dunphy once said: “While everyone’s chasing each other around outside the box, you know what the box is? Empty.” So, we’re going to step on inside the box and give you the straight up truth: procrastinate all you like, but do it effectively.
Effective Procrastinating? What is that, you ask? Effective Procrastinating takes years, perhaps decades, of practice and discipline, but once you know the key to better procrastination, it will come as easy as pie. Hell, I’m doing it right now.
Defined by the unnamed dictionary I keep in my head, “Effective Procrastinating” is as such: a method of intense and productive procrastinating, usually not related to any mandatory task, but a time planned or unplanned where one puts off a certain task in substitution with another productive task. Ex. “The last time Joe effectively procrastinated, he produced three dozen cookies.”
Those who are not skilled in Effective Procrastinating often spend the time when they should be studying, writing papers, or doing other undesirable tasks, doing non-productive activities such as watching television, sleeping, playing video games, and the like. These activities are sins in the procrastinating world. They produce a feeling of intense guilt that is best to be avoided.
Those who have practiced the art of true procrastination know to use their time more wisely. The key to Effective Procrastination is the comparison of tasks to find the lesser of two evils. Task A is the mandatory task – the one you are avoiding. Task B is the more desirable (but perhaps not desirable in a normal situation), but equally productive task. Logistics of Effective Procrastination say that if you are not doing Task A, you should be doing Task B.
So what are some examples of Task B?

  • Cleaning your bathroom – especially the tub
  • Cleaning your kitchen
  • Cleaning pretty much anything that needs to be cleaned (no unnecessary cleaning please!)
  • Baking or cooking
  • Home repairs
  • Organize computer files
  • Exercise
  • Spend time with your grandparents
  • Laundry
  • Garden/rake leaves
  • Volunteer to help someone else
  • Body maintenance – not your car – you. Trim, floss, wax, moisturize…

Of course, if you have more procrastinating time left in your vessel after Task B, go ahead and repeat with another activity. Whatever you do, don’t procrastinate by doing the following fun and enjoyable, but not productive, activities:

  • Watch TV/Movies
  • Play Video Games
  • Shopping
  • Lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling
  • Learn the lyrics to all your favourite rap songs
  • Organize your bookshelf alphabetically
  • Play dress up… with your dog/cat/goldfish
  • Eat junkfood
  • Take apart your computer and put it back together (highly ill-advised)
  • Look up expensive vacations on the internet
  • Calculate what your term grade would be if you just didn’t do Task A
  • Drink away your sorrows or use recreational drugs

Since exam time is coming up and many final projects are due right about now, it would be wise to practice the art of Effective Procrastination. You will find that you are all of a sudden getting so much done. This may not include the task you should be doing, but at least while you’re working up the motivation to start on that, you’ll have a spotless bathroom, perfect eyebrows, a three-course dinner prepared, and 6-pack abs. All of a sudden, procrastinating doesn’t make you feel so crummy, eh?
Want more tips on Effective Procrastinating? Need to know the key to success? Want to brag about how you procrastinate better than anyone else? Leave a comment below!

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