HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL PROCRASTINATOR
A lot of people ask me: Daphny, what makes you such a great procrastinator? To which I usually reply: I’ll tell you next week. I’m too tired now.
And indeed, being a great procrastinator is more than just “not doing stuff”. It’s a way of life. People who just put off things they need to do, will sooner or later break and go back to their regular doing-stuff selves. If you want to be a PROcrastinator and not just a casual one, you have to live it.
Here are a few ground rules for you to embrace if you want to be a real procrastinator -
1. Work always comes first.
Let’s say you decide to wash the dishes instead of doing some writing. As you surely realize, this means you did not procrastinate washing the dishes. But there’s nothing you can do about that. If you procrastinate one thing, something else will have to be done, unfortunately. That’s why it’s important to put work at the top of your list of items to procrastinate. Remember - you can’t procrastinate EVERYTHING. You’re not Superman. Once you internalize that, it will be easier for you to carry on. And it doesn’t matter whether you are about to start a new play or just a quick rewrite for that script that is just one draft away from being produced. They’re all work and they’re all equally important to put off.
Take this post, for instance. I have been writing it for 4 weeks now. And I don’t intend it to be very article long too. It simply started as a neat idea that I was able to postpone for 10 days. 10 days, people. Until I almost forgot about it completely. Why? Because that’s what I do.
2. Work alone.
Co-writers to procrastination are like hipsters to the shaving foam industry – they kill it. Co-writers guilt you into working and their mere presence makes you feel bad about not doing something. If you are a musical theater writer and therefore most likely work with a collaborator, make sure to find yourself a partner who shares your passion and views about procrastination. Together you won’t be creating something beautiful.
3. Be creative.
Installing Candy Crush on your phone is an obvious and effective way to achieve procrastination, but it’s not sustainable for the long run. You have to be creative. There are plenty of good ways to postpone writing: adopt a pet, preferably a cat with health issues – one that will get you out of the house on an ongoing basis. Drink a lot of fluids that will make you go to the restroom every hour, move to a noisy neighborhood, and if you’re ready to get hardcore - make a baby. It will provide you with a plethora of new procrastination possibilities. You don’t need to go far to find ways to avoid work, just use your brains and imagination - it’s all out there.
And one final word:
Procrastinating is not about putting off work. It’s about not doing something really important. It’s about redefining the word “deadline”. Procrastinating is beautiful, fine art that requires dedication, patient and true passion. There are plenty of people out there who think, just because they sometimes don’t do stuff, that they are procrastinators, and frankly, they give us all a bad name. They make it looks like it’s easy. Well, no more. It’s time to show the world what procrastinating is really about. Or maybe tomorrow.
*Next week: how to never finish a project.