You sit down, you grab your pen or your paintbrush, your finger hover over your keyboard, you say to yourself “Yeah, let’s CREATE!”
Then you check your Facebook. Then you have a sandwich. Then oh dear, it’s time you went to bed.
Procrastinating doesn’t even mean that, deep down in the secret parts of your head, you actually don’t want to do the task you’ve set yourself. I can be really excited about a project and then not start it for a day or two. I can be enthralled by something I’m scribbling down, then just wander off and come back to it later. Sometimes that’s actually helpful. More often, though, it is not.
Procrastination is the murderer of time and for many is almost impossible to avoid. There’s absolutely loads of tips and tricks available that claim to help you stop slacking off, some work, some don’t. You get a different genie each time you rub that particular lamp, so I’m not going to add my own to the legion.
Instead, here’s a handy list of things I’ve done, and you can do too, instead of working on your art; whatever it may be.
- Start something else.
This is a good one, actually. A good many times I’ve sat down to write something and ended up babbling about something else. Right now, in fact, I was going to work on my script. So here’s this instead.
- Eat something.
Put down your art supplies. You’re hungry. Yes you are. You’d love a sandwich right now. Hell, even some soup. If you’re doing soup you may as well cook up some noodles. Hey, why not make yourself a full stir-fry and watch a bit of telly while you eat it? You can get back to work right afterwards, right? Right?
- Check your Facebook page.
Or your Tumblr, or Google+ or whatever it is you crazy kids do nowadays. Go check it. Then check it again.
Then sit there refreshing the page over and over, staring at it as though that’s going to make something new happen. You have no new messages. Keep checking.
- Watch the TV.
It’s for inspiration. This show is shot really well, it’s interesting to look at. This show too. And this one. This one is just a really good show. Oh, they’re showing Alien on Channel 4? I’ll watch that then go to bed. I’ll finish my piece tomorrow.
- Go to bed.
Cut out the middle man; just go to bed right now. You were up all night working on your art anyway; it’s fine.
- Go out with your friends.
You haven’t seen them in days. You have to at least put in an appearance. You can go home early and finish off that article you’re writing. Is that a jagerbomb in your hand? Why are you ordering a gin and tonic? Don’t go to the club, it’s time to… oh, never mind.
- Have a hangover.
This is because of 6. You cannot brain today. You have the dumb. Coffee, bacon, telly, bed. No loud noises, thanks.
And finally, my personal favourite.
- Do nothing.
The number of times I’ve caught myself just staring at a wall midway through typing a sentence is absolutely ridiculous. Apparently a blank wall is really, really interesting when you have more important things to do.
So that’s that, just some handy suggestions you can use to aid your procrastination and put off working on your art for just that little bit longer.
I hope my little list has helped you come up with new ideas and new ways to avoid working when you really should be, and I hope you have as much fun not doing anything productive as I’ve had enabling your lazy arse.
Now get back to work.
By James Bovington
You can find out more about James at his main writing blog: http://jbovington.wordpress.com
Tumblr account http://burndownthesun.tumblr.com
and Twitter @JBov