The fine art of procrastination

It’s a topic much covered, but I feel I’ve progressed to levels of procrastination not yet dreamed of. I am, if you will, a Procrastination Master. The lazy is strong in this one.

It’s a topic much covered, but I feel I’ve progressed to levels of procrastination not yet dreamed of.  I am, if you will, a Procrastination Master. The lazy is strong in this one.

alex walls idealogI joked once years ago, while ’studying’ for an exam the next day, that I had reached such dizzying, unexplored heights of procrastination, a new unit of measurement should be named after me. The ferocious debate that ensued;  the Walls, the X, the Slovenly One (just plain hurtful), beautifully enough meant I wasted a good three of my remaining 12 studying hours.

You’ve all been there in the past, I’m sure – cleaning your room because you can’t work with distraction and clutter around you (I’m pretty sure Buddha said that at some point), bombarding your friends on Facebook with increasingly more bizarre things, following Wikipedia trails about conspiracy theories and CIA plots (did you know they tried to kill Castro using exploding shellfish?!), the list goes on.

I would have thought that leaving my student days behind and entering the much-feared working world would have cured me of this disease. After all, wouldn’t it be great to be one of those super productive people who get up early and exercise, eat right, teach a troupe of baboons the 32 fouettes from Swan Lake before volunteering at a soup kitchen for endangered icebergs? Rather than, you know, sleeping until 12pm, eating left overs, muttering at a wall and playing Mass Effect 2 until late into the night (hypothetically, I’m saying…), while occasionally glancing at a blank page with that baleful blinking text line.  But alas, old habits die hard, particularly when they’re so much more enjoyable than the actual task to hand.

At any rate, if you’re looking for some new procrastination techniques to further endanger your deadlines, you could try some of my old favourites:  making up words and seeing if others notice, reading large bodies of text that have nothing to do with the work due, luring people into absurd arguments about which super power would be better, going tramping but taking your text book with you, writing part of a novel about a wily thief with a badly set leg who dreams of the ballet and a group of friends who ride dragons while also ensuring democratic progress, that will never be finished once said deadline passes .

And please, feel free to share your own; we Masters are always open to new challenges – provided there’s not too much effort involved.

Alex Walls is a New Zealand journalist currently exploring Britain's climate (rain, cold, rain, more cold) and the art of terrible travel selfies. Follow her @lxwalls.