Wednesday, December 9, 2009

how to handle your procrastination: tips, tricks, and string beans.

Fellow readers, I have a feeling you're reading this because you have better things to do, really.
The situation: it's raining incessantly to the point where I can't see out of my car windshield, roommate is out of the country, I'm isolated in the apartment for seventy-two hours with four major exams occurring over the span of two days-- of course I am going to find ways to avoid what I really should be doing.
The silver lining to all of this, though, is that over the past few days I've discovered some really interesting ways to distract myself, while abating my guilt. And who knows, maybe the following list can be added to your own personal methods of procrastination:
1.) Google: I have this habit of Google imaging pictures of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. For some inexplicable reason (or maybe, for a deep, subconscious reason), I feel oddly connected to them and their relationship. Say what you want Yoko-haters, but I thoroughly enjoy spending hours browsing through old photos of the deeply in love couple. Maybe it’s because I secretly want to be an avant-garde artist who has a passionate relationship with a peace-loving, yet hyper-talented hippy musician. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s because at times like this, I just want to stay in bed all day in protest (sure, of war. But mostly paper-writing). Also included in this category; googling yourself. Cast aside the pseudo humility, no one's looking anyway.
2.) Create a picture (stalker) diary: I took random photographs of my friends and wrote odes to them for no particular reason. Some of these are posted, some exist only in my head but just know I really like people so I’ll probably write you a letter of appreciation or something sometime in our lifetime.
3.) Use a life-line and phone a friend: Call/text most, if not all, the individuals in your contacts. For example, I called a girlfriend to tell her that I was procrastinating and to complain about the injustices of having to wait until March to watch Gossip Girl again. I also called another friend in Florida because I knew he'd be drunk and want to argue with me. As for texting, the easiest, albeit creepy, way to start a conversation is to ask what the person is up to. "Hey hotcakes, what's shakin'?" (I hope the creeper pedophile voice is coming through loud and clear.)
4.) Research an activity/thing/person/place you thought you wouldn't have time to research: For me this included nihilism, ginger ale, juggling, astronomy, Copenhagen, and George Sand.
5.) One of the best ways to avoid reality? Eat. The poor college student factor aside, I have an abnormally weird and cheap taste for plain foods. My platter of choice tonight was string beans. This doesn't sound too appealing, I know, but my mom used to mix them in with meat loaf to get me to eat them and I remember that so fondly that I told myself I had to have them tonight because it would help with my work method. Sure, it helped. It took a whole twenty minutes away from my computer screen.
Bonus: If you're feeling extra motivated, find a party. What's that gangster rap wafting in from the hall? Better investigate.

And that's where I'm at now. Writing this stupid blog entry, eating plain vegetables, and drinking cold instant coffee. Such a sad portrait with such an easy solution. Damn you finals week.
Actually, no. I refrain from cursing in the name of academia. If it wasn't for procrastination, I'd have no legitimate excuse for doing any of these things. Put that way, I should be praising my lack of focus for excusing my nerdom. Dragon Ball-Z hulu episodes, here I come!
[Post script: If any of this had been written toward my paper efforts, I would have been one page closer to finishing. Paper remains sitting cold and alone at my desk.]

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