Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Anon, Good Thing-I’m-Supposed-To-Do, I Come!

My Five Favorite Ways to Procrastinate:

(In no particular order)

Cleaning up: Now, this is a tricky one because sometimes one procrastinates cleaning up, but cleaning up itself is an activity that lends itself well towards the goal of putting a time-consuming activity between you and the thing that needs to be done. In my last few years of college, you could always tell by my room’s level of organization when I was putting off writing a dreaded essay.

Looking for stuff on Craigslist: Jobs, art, furniture, apartments for rent, random free stuff… you can find anything on Craigslist! Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, art, furniture, a place to live, or random free stuff, it’s good to know what’s out there. And hey, sometimes you can even find things you actually need. For instance, that's where my former roommate, a sculptor who was working on an instillation piece, got the truckload of dirt she needed for her senior project. For free! (If you can believe it.)

Visiting Goodreads: I’m pretty neglectful of my own Goodreads account, but I like to read the negative reviews other people post. This will accomplish one of two things: A) Commiserate my own feelings toward a book I don’t like so I can be all, “Yeah, that’s exactly how that book sucked!” I may not absolutely love everything I come across but for the most part I'm pretty easy to please. I like or, at the very least, am entertained by most books I pick up. Even the generally-thought-of-as bad ones! So discovering a book I hate is an extremely frustrating event for me. A book has to be actively working especially hard to make me to hate it because as soon as I realize I'm hating a book I actively work especially hard not to hate it. Seriously, it takes me 100 pages to give up on a book I’m not enjoying! So when this happens it irrationally makes me a little mad that the book was working against me and my good intentions, and therefore I find myself in need of catharsis through someone else’s rant. Or, B) Give me some much-needed perspective. No matter how much you love your favorite book, someone out there hates it with a deep-seeded passion. Even the great writers couldn't please everyone. Something to keep in mind when your own work receives a negative response.

Walking around the house in circles: Sometimes intentional. Sometimes not. Sometimes I bounce from one room to another because I’ve forgotten why I was going into Room A until I’ve returned to Room B, then I go back into Room A where I get distracted by something shiny, then when the shiny thing and I are back in Room B, I remember what I needed from Room A, and round and round we go. Tis a vicious,vicious cycle, my friends.

Thinking about how to most effectively get stuff done via to-do lists, scheduling tables, and imaginings of various possible plans-of-attack: This one is probably my favorite because I feel a sense of accomplishment for having come up with a plan. In fact, coming up with a plan is such a big accomplishment that I deserve a break before really digging into the task at hand. Heck, I deserve the whole rest of the day off! It doesn’t matter that I will most likely throw the entire plan out the window by the next morning. Getting the thing done isn’t really what it’s about anyway…


  1. Oh that video is SO me :D I totally do the to-do list thing as well. But am laughing especially hard at you wandering round in circles and getting distracted by shiny things :) My most evil timesuck device is Twitter. So addictive.

  2. I think I'm going to steer clear of twitter for as long as I can. I can see that becoming a problem for me.

  3. I'm not much one for procrastination, but distraction? Sure. 1. Movie news websites. 2. My guitar. 3. Trawling for new albums to purchase. 4. Other people's blogs. Oh, and definitely stay away from Twitter if you want to get any work done on your WIP. Your interest in Twitter will peak after about 3 months, but that's 3 months you won't get back...

  4. So funny! Fact is, despite us having all manner of technological advances designed to make our lives easier, we're busier than ever!

    The big P is what most writers struggle with because writing is so darn hard. My best method is saying 'I'll do my best.' Can't ask for more than that!

  5. Neil - Ah, yes, music is an excellent distraction. Looking for new music, wikipedia-ing recently discovered artists, compiling the best playlist ever! And reading blogs, too, but I'm going to call that one a healthy habit for a writer. Cause, you know, learning about the business and connecting with other writers is important, right? Right? Right!?!

    D.U. - Too true. And if I tack "...to stay off the internet" onto the end of "I'll do my best" then I can focus on doing my best at actually writing, too!