Welcome one and all on (no doubt) your segway from productivity! If you’re desperate to procrastinate successfully – which I’m sure you are as you’re already on this site rather than working – then you’ve come to the right place. The good news is, you’re already making good progress by not working and reading this instead. Jolly good! Shall we start?
Step 1: Find Your Focus
First and foremost, you must find the task that you are going to avoid doing. It’s something that you really need to do. In fact, it might even be something you really want to do. It might be completely and utterly achievable, it might even be easy. But, it should also be, totally overwhelming and seemingly impossible.
Got it? Ok! Let’s go.
Tip: Choose something generally enjoyable, but excruciating to start.
Step 2: Save The Date
Now, set aside a large chunk of time to do this thing. Save such a large chunk of time that there’s no possible way you couldn’t do the thing. Make a plan of all the things you will do with this extensive amount of time that you have and think about how satisfied you are going to feel when you have finished your task.
Pre-celebrate a bit, congratulate yourself on your great task of planning.
Marked the date in your diary? Perfect, this is going well.
Tip: Go for an unexpected day off of work or a bank holiday weekend. These baby’s always seem like the holy grail of free time and then usually disappear somewhere between breakfast a brunch…
Step 3: Miss Your First Deadline
Since you’ve made such a detailed (potentially unrealistic) plan of how to complete your task, the next bit is really easy. All you have to do is miss the first deadline that you have set for yourself. It could be waking up on time, getting to your virtual office by another time or completing a task by midday.
Missed the deadline? Great! This is where the procrastination spiral begins.
Tip: Plan extensively for all the work that you’re (not) going to do but allow absolutely no time for logistics or day-to-day tasks, like eating.
Step 4: Overestimate Yourself
After kicking yourself a little, tell yourself it’s not the end of the world and that you can still get everything done. This may well be true, but not for you, you procrastinator you. Simply underestimate how many hours there are in a day and overestimate how much you can get done. Now, keeping this terrible assessment in mind, go ahead and do something totally unrelated to what you intended to do. Go on all of the social media networks you have, even the ones you don’t really like, catch up on the news, listen to your favourite song 6-8 times and have a few snacks.
Is the time just speeding by? Wonderful. Next step…
Tip: This is usually the time a spend responding to all the emails and messages I have the could definitely wait until tomorrow. Try it!
Step 5: Panic
Now it’s time to take things seriously. Realise the huge mistake you’ve made and how much time you’ve wasted. Take a good chunk of time to freak out, making sure your adrenaline is pumping and you really can’t concentrate on the task in hand, even if you want to.
Totally panicked and distracted? You’re doing well!
Tip: Have a coffee on top of the adrenaline rush – that really shakes things up.
Step 6: Prepare For Productivity
You’ve come down from your adrenaline high and you’re ready to get shit done. You can’t just get on with it though, you need to prepare. This may mean tidying your working space, making a quick call to someone for a confidence boost or deleting every distracting folder on your desktop.
Have you just spent over an hour doing essential preparation? Yeah, you have!
Tip: Have you ever noticed how many water stains there are on your shower doors? No? Now’s the time to notice!
Step 7: Go Blank
This one is nice and easy. You’ve already done all the ground work to totally screw yourself out of getting on with anything. Now, you should feel naturally fatigued, unfocused and uninspired.
Feeling blank? Faaabulous.
Tip: Do nothing. Ab-so-lu-te-ly nothing.
Step 8: Do 5 Minutes Of Your Task
Savour this moment, because this is going to be the sole few minutes you spend on the task you set out to do. Go on, get comfortable, ride the wave of productivity. Weeee!
Enjoying yourself? I bet you are.
Tip: Do whatever you can to make these few moments feel extra productive. I’m usually procrastinating over writing, so this is the moment I make my documents font and spacing extra large so as to look like I have done much more than I have.
Step 9: Give In To Distraction
I mean, this one is pure and simple. You’ve read this far so I doubt you need any help from me in terms of getting distracted…
Tip: Keep doing what you’re doing!
Step 10: Mourn In Self-Pity
There may actually still be time to complete your task or at least to make a little leeway. But, in the spirit of procrastinating, you don’t want to use that time well.
Did you make it this far? Congratulations! The day is done and you have officially pracrastinated for all the livelong day!
Tip: The key to this final step is being extremely dramatic. Take this opportunity to call a friend and whine about how hard it is to get anything done.