Don’t Lie to Me!
Everyone procrastinates. Whatever you might think, at one point in all our lives we have all procrastinated. There are some things that we all have to do, and no one wants to do.
Paperwork, taxes, all these things, and human nature is to avoid doing things that we don’t like, especially in this modern day, in developed countries where we do have a huge choice in our lives, and are really able to personalise our living.
Even in a job that you love or a life that you love, at one point you will have done something to avoid doing something else. That is a definite. Unless, of course, you have never had to do anything that you didn’t want to do, in which case, you are very unique in your ways.
Usually, we have things that are necessary that no one wants to do, and so came the invention of procrastination. It’s an art form in many ways – individual to the person, hard to imitate, improved with practice, and constantly experienced.
As I said, procrastination is very personalised, but there are always things in the modern world to which everyone succumbs.
- Social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc have revolutionised the procrastinating world as well as the communicating one. I’m not sure if there’s anyone around my age with a facebook account that actually finds it possible to keep their hands off for more than a day. You might miss updates, and the way that they work by connecting to your phones and alerting you even when you aren’t on the site, then sending you emails when you haven’t gone on it for a while, it’s constantly reminding you that it’s there and that there are wonderful things to be found (and I was not by any means looking on Twitter just now…)
- THE INTERNET – YouTube, so many podcasts, kitten pictures, ALL the things on the Internet are procrastination material. You can literally open your browser and find something to do, even if it’s only looking for something to do. I can spend hours at a time on the internet – so much work I could have been doing…
- Books, Naps, Thinks – I put these into one section because they all come under the relaxing part. Just having a relax – don’t get me wrong, working all the time is incredibly dangerous! You must relax, you must relax when you need to, you can’t work all the time – I am MORE than well aware of this. But, it makes it procrastinating when you should be doing something else and you have had more than enough relaxation time already. You could argue that reading is working if you are a writer – research. However, procrastination only applies to avoiding work that you DON’T want to do. I’d love to have a job where I could constantly read, but then I wouldn’t procrastinate as much.
- Phones – The recent innovation of phones has led to them becoming brilliant procrastination helpers. There are so many pointless apps that let you just waste time, not doing anything productive, let alone what you are actually MEANT to do! Yes, smart phones can be great for being productive, for getting work done and contacting people and sharing things, but there are just as many apps like Angry Birds and Tetris, which can get you more frustrated than your actual work…
- Gaming – Gaming has been revolutionised in the past 20 years and has led to so much more accessibility and so much more procrastination. It’s so easy nowadays to pick up a games and play all 5 hours of storyline and more in one sitting, which really doesn’t help when there are assignments to be marked or forms to be filled out lying lonely on your desk.
- Shopping and Eating – These fall under leisure – just doing something that you enjoy. It can sometimes get expensive or be bad for you, or anything else, or even good for you if it’s fitness, but it still gives you an excuse to not work. These things are all around us, and this DOESN’T HELP ANYONE.
How I Procrastinate
I do pretty much all of them (considering I thought that list up it seems likely) and I do things like tidy my room and arrange my cuddly toys so they’re hugging each other or fighting or something (soft toys are lovely, I want them all. I only have 4 at my Mum’s right now, though, so sad face…)
I spend so much time on the internet watching YouTube videos – probably my biggest one – reading, writing (if I have other things to do) and checking up on Facebook and Twitter to see if anyone cares about me – a hint, if you haven’t got any notifications, you won’t have any 5 seconds later. Whether you have closed the window or not.
How to keep from Procrastinating
It may seem almost impossible, however there are a few things that you can do to keep from procrastinating. None of them stop me, but those are my problems…
- Turning off the Internet – this takes about all of the social networking and YouTube cravings that I know you’re having. Getting someone you trust to change all of your passwords has the same effect, and works if you need the Internet for your work, which I know a lot of people do.
- Relaxing adequately BEFORE getting down to work – this doesn’t work for me at all, but I know that some people, if they rest properly before sitting down and saying ‘yeah, I’m going to work now’ feel more motivated to do so, rather than if they’re tired and more likely to go and have a nap.
- Giving yourself deadlines, punishments and rewards – I really like this one, as it really works for me. Especially with this blog, I haven’t even set myself any punishments, and there are lots of time where I’ve gone ‘Oh, I’ll just leave it for today.’ but every day I have posted something, even if I just took a story or poem I wrote ages ago and plonked it in here. And I feel proud of myself that I am motivated enough to want to do this even without punishment or reward set up, and I can meet deadlines.
Work Ethic (or lack thereof)
Work ethic is something that everyone has to a certain extent – whether the extent be high or not depends on the person. And also what it is influenced by depends on the person.
Work ethic is how well you can hit deadlines and get your work done, and it varies from person to person dramatically, and all for different reasons.
I for one think that I have quite a good work ethic set up, and my parents pride themselves on the fact that I do my homework, and do it to the best of my ability (in most cases) for myself and not for them. I don’t feel that I have to aim for an A* in all of my subjects because of my parents pressuring me or rewarding me, I think that I want to achieve for my own sense of achievement.
It’s nice. My brother on the other hand, doesn’t have as much of a work ethic. Maybe it’s because he’s younger than me, maybe it’s because he doesn’t enjoy school as much as I do, maybe he’s just a different person than I am, but he really doesn’t enjoy work and doesn’t quite have it firmly in his head that there are things that you have to do, and even if you don’t want to do it, that doesn’t overrule the fact that you have to do it.
Everyone is different, everyone works (or doesn’t!) for their own reasons and work ethic is particular to each person, but everyone has some kind of work ethic, good or bad.
What’s The Point?
The point is to recognise when you’re procrastinating, and to know how to stop yourself. I’m working on it, it’s likely that people who have been working for 50 years or more are still working on it, procrastinating in normal when you don’t want to (or feel like) doing something.
It’s best to get it done and over with, then do your relaxing and messing around when you have the time to, rather than when you should be working. It’ll just drag out the pain if you do otherwise…
I’m sure that you knew this, I’m not assuming that you’re stupid, but there is some merit to just figuring out that ‘yes, right now I am procrastinating and I should stop’ like when I started doing the cup song with my empty water bottle numerous times during the writing of this little post.
(Or not so little, how did it get to 1455 words!?)
Thank you for having a read, I hope it made you think (it made me think about how much a procrastinate whilst writing blog posts and how I could’ve been done about an half an hour earlier if I hadn’t messed around so much…) and pay no attention to the coypu made of spoons that lies on its back in the middle of your living room, it’s probably just waiting for the mothership.