Productive procrastination, isolation, and you
The best way to do nothing, and everything, at the same time
Isolation is kicking my ass. By that I mean I cannot, for whatever reason, actually get things done at home.
I study my best on campus or at coffee shops, I write my essays best in public, and I can focus best when I’m not surrounded by things I love (i.e., video games, my rabbit, and a never-ending flow of YouTube videos and Netflix shows). Because of that, I find myself trying to find ways to not get work done, but…I always feel guilty.
My struggle then became: how can I avoid work, but not feel guilty? And that, my friends, is why I’m here today. So, today I’m going to make the case for both the bane of my existence and the reason I’m currently sane: productive procrastination.
Allow me to elaborate: instead of working on the things that you need to do, why not do chores that you don’t need to do now, but that still need to be done eventually? You could be writing that paper that’s due in two days, or, riddle me this, you could dust the entirety of your living room.
Does it need to be done today? No. Does it need to be done eventually? Yes. Is that time now? Hell yes.
Productive procrastination is both the best and worst thing to happen to me during isolation. Anyone close to me in my life knows that since isolation has started, I have nailed my skin care routine. My skin has truly never looked better. It’s gonna be pissed the second all of this is over and I don’t have the same amount of time to wash my face whenever I’m bored.
My room has also never looked this clean. Ever. I’ve already sorted the books and clothing I plan to donate once all of this is over (note: if donations are accepted) and have hashed out a game plan for moving out which is supposed to happen at some point this year.
Does it suck whenever I open my computer and see a totally blank screen with no essay writing work on it? Yeah, but you know what doesn’t suck? Sitting in a freshly dusted and polished desk while staring at that empty screen. That shit is satisfying.
But here’s the best part: while productive procrastination is still procrastination, it puts a fire under your ass when something is actually due.
Picture this: you’ve been scrubbing the kitchen floor with a toothbrush for three days out of sheer boredom. The house is dusted. You’ve taken out all the garbage five times already, and everything smells like sanitizer. The hospital isn’t even this clean. You are thriving. You are a disinfected, untouchable being. You are the peak of humanity.
But that seven-page English paper is due in exactly 12 hours.
Everything is clean. Everything is sanitized. Everything is done, except that paper. Now, it’s crunch time. Now, that’s the thing you can pour all of your energy into because you have no other choice.
And then you crank out that paper because the pressure is finally settling in, and that is the absolute bane of the lack of inspiration’s existence. Diamonds are made under pressure. Unfortunately for us, essays aren’t worth as much as diamonds. If they were, we wouldn’t all be so poor right now.
The point I’m trying to make here is that if you want to not do your work, at least make it worth your while. At least do other things that matter less, but still matter, instead of doing everything that’s more pressing.
Here’s the truth of the matter: none of us are content with the current situation. Even if you’re a fellow introvert and love staying at home, being forced to never leave the house isn’t fun. Part of the joy of staying home is choosing to do so. So, because of that, we all need to do the best with what we’re given. Right now, that means cracking jokes about doing both nothing and everything at the same time.
So, while we’re all stuck in the house and unhappy, lets at least make our time grumbling worthwhile by doing all the household chores we convince ourselves that “we’ll do eventually” and never do. Eventually is now, fellow procrastinators. Let’s get to it.
So, if you’ll excuse me, now that I’m done writing this, I’m going to avoid writing a paper analyzing poetry, so I can clean my rabbit’s cage for the second time in the past 24 hours. She, too, is going to be really pissed once all of this is all over, and she’ll no longer be getting this luxurious of treatment.