16th January, 2018

8 ways to procrastinate productively

I’m a great procrastinator. I’m so good at procrastinating that I can tell you loads about it. Tomorrow.

I’m especially good at procrastinating when I’m actually really busy. It’s like the more I’m meant to be doing, the more I want to put it off.

For small business operators coming off the Christmas break, there are dozens of things you can do to get ready for the year ahead — but if you’re like me you’re probably doing none of that productive stuff and instead procrastinating like the wind.

If you tend towards procrastination, here are some ways you can at least procrastinate productively.

1. Plan your next holiday

Sure, you’re not getting any work done by google searching tropical island getaways but you’re organising something you can work towards. Think of it as motivating yourself now to work hard later. And don’t forget to book a bikini wax (you too, fellas.)

2. Check your social media

Let’s face it, Facebook and Twitter are prime procrastination fodder. But after you’ve fallen down a rabbit-hole of photos of other people’s smashed avocado you might feel like spending some time updating your business’ social media pages. Just don’t post pics of your breakfast (unless of course your business involves breakfast).

READ: Do I need to be on all the social media channels?

3. Sort through your inbox

I know a guy who has less than a dozen emails sitting in his inbox at the end of any given day. Yes, he’s a freak (I currently have 857). Spending some time sorting and culling your emails is top-notch procrastination because not only will it keep you from what you’re really meant to be doing but it will also leave your inbox much more organised. And make sure you check your spam: not because you’ll find anything useful, just so you can laugh at messages from international strangers that begin with “I want please to friendship with you.”

4. Clean something

Anything. Everything gets dirty: your desk, your car, your floor, your mind. Cleaning is good procrastination because while you might not be achieving the task at hand, you’re still achieving something by making a valuable improvement elsewhere. Even up your nose.

5. Take a nap

Little nanna-naps aren’t just for pensioners, they’re good for procrastinators, too. Getting some shut-eye lets your body relax and your brain restore itself for a spell, something that will result in you being more productive when you wake up. Just don’t forget to set an alarm for the length of time you want to sleep – there’s nothing worse than waking up and realising you’ve completely missed Neighbours.

READ: Why it’s crucial to switch off at 5pm

6. Dance the Lambada

It’s the forbidden dance. If you’re going to procrastinate you might as well a) make it edgy, and b) raise your heart rate in the name of getting a little exercise.

7. Phone a friend

They say that a problem shared is a problem halved, and a procrastinator who shares their procrastination with another procrastinator a) helps that procrastinator procrastinate and b) may in fact work out the work-related hurdle they’re struggling to get over in the course of their shared procrastination. And if that fails, procrastinate by just reading this paragraph out loud repeatedly for ten minutes: it’s a bit tricky with all the procrastinations and it will help you kill some time.

8. Prank-call your competitors

Put on an accent and- who am I kidding, there’s absolutely nothing productive about making nuisance phone calls. Do this one purely for laughs.