Befriend Procrastination!

I’m crazy. I want to befriend procrastination. Instead of procrastination making life and writing hard for me, I want procrastination to help me.


As some of you know, I’m being homeschooled this year, and sometimes it’s really, really hard to avoid doing anything but your work. Putting things off. Doing something else that you shouldn’t really be doing. Procrastinating. 

I like things tidy, but sometimes I really am too lazy to be bothered about leaving my school books and things tidy and fresh at the end of the day, and they’re more often than not dumped on the table in a messy heap. Even worse, sometimes I have things scattered all over the place. I keep most of the things I don’t work on every day in my bedroom, where I have this plastic box/container thing that I put all my books and things in. But the things I use everyday, they’re kept on the dining room table… where I like doing my work, if I don’t need to use the computer. I just dump them there. (Cue protests from my mum.) And then my English book and things are a lot of the time left on the computer desk because I need the computer for doing it a lot of the time. That’s three places, not counting books often left around in the lounge, on the sofa…

Why I’m saying this is because a lot of the time I procrastinate because I reckon I’m too lazy, I can not be stuffed. My mind goes blank and fuzzy and hurts when I see everything in a mess, and I think about all the work I have to do! But really, it’s because of the mess. Does that make sense? Maybe if I put everything in just one or two places, did the things I have to do each day instead of having to catch up, things would be better. I could wake up each day, have my breakfast and go, “Oh look! Everything’s super tidy! It makes me want to do my work!” Okay, so not quite that cheesy, but you get the idea.

So that’s the first thing to befriending procrastination. Don’t make it look like procrastination is bullying you, when perhaps it’s you giving way too many opportunities for procrastination to have to bully you.

The next important part of befriending procrastination, is actually rather simple. Let yourself procrastinate. Sound weird? You haven’t heard the whole story. Sorry.  Once you’ve got past actually making yourself sit down and look at your work (or anything else) you have to do it. Work for reasonable amounts of time. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, but I’m telling you again.  Work in 45 minute chunks and then have a fifteen minute break. (Or anything else that fits you.) There’s your time to procrastinate- the 15 minute break that is. But don’t you dare take a break for any longer, otherwise procrastination will go back to being your enemy. Then, after your procrastination break, work for another 45 minutes, and so on. Time yourself so you know when is the right time to ‘procrastinate’ and when you should be working. This also helps you avoid taking breaks at odd times.  And do make sure you take those procrastination breaks. Otherwise, instead of befriending procrastination, you’ll be beating it! And trust me, actually it may be better to not trust me, eheh,  in the long run befriending procrastination is better than beating procrastination. If you beat procrastination, and work for unlimited amounts of time, it really is going to do your head in. You’re going to hate school work or whatever else. Do you understand the difference?

And this doesn’t just apply for school work. Of course not. The reason I actually wanted to befriend procrastination, was because I thought if I got on the good side of procrastination, motivation might be nicer to me of CAMP NANO! Which is only just one day away for me. I’m being a rebel for Camp, but I still want to get at least 5-10k of words. Yes, I’m aiming very low, but it’s better than nothing, right? On the topic of Camp and procrastination, leave your computer/writing area tidy and welcoming, making you want to write!

In summary, befriend procrastination instead of beating it. Don’t leave things/work/writing places  in a mess. Work in timed chunks. Take procrastination breaks. And don’t worry if it takes a while to befriend procrastination, it is hard, but in the end, things will hopefully pay off, just don’t forget to keep the friendship up always. Even if you’re friends with procrastination for a couple of days and then do the opposite of everything to befriend procrastination, you’ll just end up losing this rather important friend. I actually hadn’t said that before but oh well, I said it now.

And last but not least I wish you good luck in befriending procrastination, and good luck for Camp!

(I apologise if some of this doesn’t make any sense and if there are typos. I know being tired isn’t an excuse, but my writing and editing skills do go down…)


24 thoughts on “Befriend Procrastination!

  1. I’m going to add in an extra step in the beginning for myself: Get a schedule. I know some people like to work in the mornings or in the evenings or have a specific time. I always just write whenever I feel like doing it, which means one day, it could be seven in the morning, and another day it’s nine o’clock at night, and some days, it’s….no time at all. And I also end up often writing the wrong thing or reading something I read a while ago, instead of writing something new, like I should be.

    Problem is, the only part of my day that has any semblance of schedule is in the mornings and the evenings on week days. Mornings I always start school at eight, and weekdays, my parents have all of us read for an hour before bed. So, really, there’s no way to stick in a schedule there, except the mornings—and I really want to do that, but lately, I have a hard enough time getting up at eight for school, let alone earlier.

    Okay, I’ll stop complaining now and actually comment on your post. I really like this advice, actually. I’ve found that taking little breaks in the middle of a long break is actually good for you and will help you feel…. fresh, for lack of a better word. And so, controlled procrastination works well there. *nods* So, yes, I support the idea of befriending procrastination rather than trying to stuff it in the closet! Except that it gives my inner editor a playmate in November. …or a partner-in-crime to gang up on me. Uh oh.

  2. Pingback: How to Help Your Local Food Bank And Procrastinate At the Same Time | Rose B Fischer

  3. Pingback: Pesky Beginnings (part two) | Ripped Out Pages

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