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The Procrastinator: A Day In The Life

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 11:32 AM
Img-00 by techgnotic

Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before a deadline.

I wrote the title for this piece three weeks ago.

So, it’s Friday night. Work week over. Tomorrow I get to write my own material. I’m super excited. I know exactly where I want to start…

Saturday morning

8:37 am - I go to switch my computer on but consider for a moment getting a little exercise first. That would set me up for the day. A few light exercises, some swimming… Yeah.

9:28 - I get back home. Quick shower.

9:43 - Dressed and switch my computer on. Make coffee and breakfast.

10:14 - Finished breakfast checking emails. Few people messaging on Facebook, shouldn’t answer them…

11:39 - Last of my DeviantArt messages answered. On to work, finally.

11:44 - Made second cup of coffee. Snacking on some toast and Marmite.

11:56 - Open file, ready to start typing. Where did I leave my notes last night?

12:08 pm - Found my notes. Back to work. Just let me wash the breakfast things up first.

12:22 - Bathroom break. Then put laundry on.

12:39 - Re-read my notes. Make a few changes.

12:57 - Clothes in dryer.

1:09 - Typing.

1:27 - Still typing.

1:33 - Folding clothes.

1:41 - Start making lunch.

2:30 - Washing up. Floor needs a clean. Won’t take 5 minutes.

3:12 - Put vacuum cleaner away.

3:18 - Made cup of tea, need a biscuit (cookie).

3:30 - Typing again.

4:15 - Need to make some long distance calls before it gets too late.

5:51 - Back to work… As soon as I’ve worked out a playlist to work to. Can’t have any vocals or it will distract me.

6:19 - Back to work.

10:58 - Exit movie theater. Movie was fun, but my memory of it is fading already. Won’t be buying the Blu-ray.

11:30 - I sit looking at my screen. My aim had been to write at least ten pages this weekend. I had all my notes, everything broken down by panel and page. I type the words “Page Three” at the top of the next page knowing full well I won’t be writing any more tonight.

Sometimes it seems that the more I look forward to and prepare for time when I am free to write what I want and need to do for myself, the more I have trouble doing what I have set out for myself to do. I have a deadline, I need to get the script to the artist because if he doesn’t get it on time it puts pressure on him and costs him money.

The way I try to deal with procrastination is recognize it when I’m doing it and actually say it out loud. It takes an effort of will power but I then force myself to just sit down and start. If I can do that and stay focused I usually hit a rhythm and get through it. The important thing is to realize what you are doing.

The other thing to do a create a ‘To Do List’ for the day and for the week.

Add in things you need to do outside of work so they don’t end up all needing to be done at the weekend. Prioritize things on the list and write a new one each morning putting what you didn’t do yesterday at the top and hit everything in that order rather than hard or easy. The priority is what matters as there are usually others involved and waiting for you to finish your part before they can carry on.

I often use treats to incentivise myself to finish tasks. Sometimes it is purely a second cup of coffee or a snack, other times it can be to see a movie or TV show.

It’s also important to not confuse Procrastination with anything else. You may be tired or need to eat. You may not be able to work on the thing you want because there may be something else you really know you should be doing first.

I know some perfectionists who are procrastinators because they underestimate themselves and therefore feel they are unable or unsuitable to deal with the task at hand.

My top tips for conquering Procrastination are as follows:

  • Recognize when you’re doing it.
  • Identify why you’re doing it.
  • Deal with it. Force your way through it and just start. You’ll need to experiment a little so you know what works for you.
  • If it is something that can be broken down into several separate tasks, do so, and mark them off as you do it.


by Jacqueline Suskin, March 2015

That tug and tangle

pulls us into pause.

That distraction that

takes away our focus

and has us fester

in nothingness.

How can we turn away,

make action take the lead

and so slip freely into motion?

Aim well and rest

often, find a rhythm and

let it be, & look deeply

into the reasons behind

this waiting game.

Your Thoughts

  1. If you procrastinate a lot, please share how you deal with it in the comments below.

Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before a deadline.

Author: DeevElliott
Curator: ellenherbert
Designer: seoul-child

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Xeurum Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
:) (Smile)
Derpfish100 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2015  Student Artist
Procrastination is a simple and easy thing to do... for some anyways. For me thats what im doing right now. Im listening to music and then checking some art others made instead of working on math... Now i feel down, but yet i know that when i DO create something cool (I.E: art/a new chapter to a story) then i feel super proud
RyilPanda Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Procrastination is easy. It only takes...
Okay, I am back. Now, what was I saying? Oh, Yes! Procrastination comes naturally.
I need to finish said task: This one I am about to do is so much more fun.
I have got a deadline: It's not too hard, I can get it done in an hour; let's just hold it off till then.
I am on my way to do it now: what's over here?
Back on track.
OOPS! too late, I missed the deadline.

The way I deal with my own procrastination is picking up the task and starting it. The MOMENT I realize that I am off track, I force myself to stop that current task no matter how easy it is. It doesn't matter if I could finish that task in less than ten minutes, I still put it back down. It is important to set boundaries. Not only should you set up a time frame for yourself to do what needs to be done, but you need to actually do it during that time frame. Fragmented work is never as good as fully thought out and executed work. Remember: you CAN do it, and you WILL do it. Put your ABLE body and mind to work, it is strong enough.
joshynini Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015  Student General Artist
I guess I'm one of those perfectionists who *really* underestimate themselves, thinking we can't get things done the way we want it - perfectly, that is. We worry about a lot of things that really don't matter in the creation process, much like a writer already editing his article even before finishing it. And that's how we become procrastinators.

Gotta change that, though. :)
PleaseImJustaGirl Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2015
 I Had intended to Procrastinate but I kept putting it off.
xXSorinozukaXx Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Scene-Qween Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I procrastinate my showers. :)   and then I often skip them entirely cause I'm heading to bed!
Hierarchy-of-Comex Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Been procrastinating as I read this just now. 0n0
I guess I could try the treat thing, like watch an episode of Steven Universe once I finish my paper.
Then again, I cheat the system and look up the leaked footage online.
Readmagine Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Imma major procrastinator.
IndecisiveName78 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I put my favourite cartoon (Phineas and Ferb) and Australian media (especially Channel Nine) above all my work. I wanted to finish that cartoon asap, but then I gave myself a long stupid way by combining the cartoon with Australian TV elements (which I'm doing first and now), and it's taking longer than expected, eating into my internship (nothing much to do anyway).

To me, that's a complicated way of procrastinating.
thegamingice Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
 The irony! I'm doing it right now! Even though I have a test, I haven't studied ALL afternoon!
 I've learned that just sitting at the dining room table, gets you less distracted.
 I also ask my parents to come sit with me, since it keeps me from falling back into temptation to go on other sites....
 This is just from my experience as a high school-er, and if you're a college student living alone, this might not work.
 Have a roommate or relative sit at the other end, to make sure yew keep going at your best!
SPDiezMazy Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015
I procastinate with homework and studying , I am here doing it right now , the irony.

.Well I have something that might help . Put yourself some limits , like :I complete this task and then I look at my phone for 10 mins , but the leisure time between tasks cant excede the time it takes you to complete the next task.
My7hicR4r3 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015  Student General Artist
Usually I'll procrastinate on my homework, and I know I shouldn't because I'm college and blah, blah, blah. I actually figured out how to use procrastination to my advantage of sorts. Say for example: One of your professors says you must use Photoshop and use these types of filters, these layer fx, and these tools for the upcoming project. The subject matter is up to you as long as it looks professional and the content doesn't have any "adult themes".

I normally procrastinate on those projects because the multitude of what I could do for this class is still so wide despite the restrictions. So I'll complete reading or homework for other classes while waiting for inspiration to strike. Sometimes I'll figure out what homework that needs to be done, and if it's an assignment that I absolutely dread but know that I can make short work of it, then I'll put everything else off and get back to the assignments I don't mind doing. 

Because I'm studying web design and other forms of graphic arts, my biggest reasons as to why I procrastinate are: 
:bulletblue: My code/script/html/css isn't working and it's giving me a headache. I need to step away before I grab my desk and flip it over.
:bulletblue: An assignment or a portion of an assignment makes no logical sense for me. It's not that I didn't study, but more of the fact of why I need to write a 2 page report for this class when it is not a general college class. If it was a humanities or science class I would be expecting it, but for highly specialized classes like advanced Photoshop? Logic anyone?
:bulletblue: Technical difficulties. Internet took a crap, my computer overheated, I lost my flash drive, those random Windows updates, etc. 
Lintenz Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015   Digital Artist
I hate it when this happens but sometimes its so hard to just do things ...zzz
FantasyEleven Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015  Hobbyist
I can fully relate to this 
Rayquaza006 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015
as soon as I my phone is fully charged, procrastination never stops until battery is 4%
My7hicR4r3 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015  Student General Artist
I can be like that with my phone sometimes too... I should've put youtube on my list of distractions :XD:
andreaperk Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
this was spot on. i write the lists, but it takes forever for me to force myself to get started, knowing that when I do start it'll get into it. It's just that first step... Thanks for the great tips!
Xenotropixavier Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2015  Student General Artist
This was a good read, I've been dealing with this for awhile now. I like the idea of saying it out loud. That goes a long way towards making me feel like a piece of shit. :)
emotionalnoodles Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I always procrastinate when it comes to school work or tidying. But, on the bright side, my method of procrastination is to do art -- so I'm being productive in some way, just not the way that people want.
biboybalute Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015
Procrastinate... Every single minute of every single day... Makes one a cool boy...
annamae411 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
i do it a lot but i make sure I work out my ideas for whatever I'm procrastinating from, in my head.  Like I'm working on a story but I'm watching one piece or making food or getting groceries, I'll still be working on my story just in my head while I'm doing this.  That way, when I get hit with inspiration or motivation, I can attack the piece.
Lily-Lucid Featured By Owner Edited Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I just start as soon as I get my assignment or deadline or whatever. I break it into chunks throughout the week, but I always try to JUST DO IT :iconjustdoitplz: so I've gotten SOMETHING done at least, lol. I also try to keep a To-Do-List every day.
elkke Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015
i just let it be.
TrashBin-Senpai Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015
Fun first before the ' pain-in-the-ass ' work!

( Still haven't touched my project. The deadline is tomorrow. My life... Oh well. )
TheKingofGames1001 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2015
Procrastination is my specialty. Because I like doing it!
Subt1e0ils Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I take issue with f1x-2's work not being included in this collection.
Mortecha Featured By Owner Edited Sep 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahh, sometimes I feel that I am at a complete loss and will never amount to anything because when I look behind me, all I see is a trail of unfinished work. Generally this would be because I got really pumped about an idea, work on it solidly for two to three weeks and then something else would come around. The biggest hurdles are university assignments as there are many of them multiple times a year. I procrastinate but when it comes to crunch time I'm inevitably forced to shelve the project for a later date. When I next have free time, the passion and motivation to continue on where I have left off is gone! Until I find something else to work on in which case the cycle continues.  
raptorkil Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015
don't worry
tatlntael Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I do procrastinate a lot, but I truthfully believe it has a lot to do with my circumstances. We have two people living in one house, only one vehicle, and I work 3 jobs so I have less time now, and I just end up putting off so many things, blaming my circumstances; because sometimes it takes so much planning or exact timing under exact circumstances to do something with such limitations. Some people will definitely say I am making excuses, and I believe I sometimes do, but when you're in my shoes, you can tell me all about it.

One way I try to keep progressing is baby steps. I try to set up little systems to keep it going, little systems that can chug alongside my big, limited system so that as I'm running along I can have it all set up for those exact timings and such, whether it's saving money or making plans to buy something after I've saved up the money, or working on a project.
FriedFace Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm a notorious procrastinator, but here are some things that can help. Sometimes.
1. Structure: To-Do lists, daily routines, timers etc. are your friend. Everything that helps you keep track of your behavior.
2. Meditation: Sometimes you procrastinate because everything is just too much and there are way too many things that need to be done and there's just too much pressure. Or you're in a creative block and you avoid dealing with it by procrastinating. In both of those situations meditative activities and/or relaxation techniques can help clear your head and calm your brain down.
3. Baby steps: Again, regarding the pressure problem, set yourself small, easily achievable goals. Ridiculously small if necessary: "Turn on Computer", "Open textbook", "write one sentence" etc. "As small as they need to be, but as large as you can handle" is my rule of thumb here. And once you've reached a goal, congratulate and reward yourself for it.
4. Change your surroundings: That can either mean you move to a different place to work entirely or just that you step outside for a moment before returning to your workplace (I recommend going for walks). It can also mean that you remove distractions as much as possible. (Turn off Wi-Fi, set phone to silent, etc.)
5. Allow for and plan downtime: Breaks and free time is necessary. Allow yourself some time to not be productive.
6. Be patient with yourself: Accept that you might naturally not be the most productive person and work with what you got. Improve yourself, but be lenient. The last thing you need is more pressure.
7. Outside control: Sometimes it can help to have someone check in on your progress, without having a "deadline" strictly speaking. It can be very helpful to work together with someone, as in "work in the same room".  Or, if that's not possible, tell them what you're going to do that day and turn that into a sort of unspoken promise you make to them, your incentive being tha you don't want to "lie" to them about what you've been doing, right? And if you succeed then be sure to let them know, because yay! 
8. If your procrastination is really bad, it might make sense to investigate why you're procrastinating at all. This is particularly important to prevent it in the long run.
Hope this helps somebody.
Ironseamist Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2015
Procrastinating right now...
MundaneCynicalOcelot Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2015
Procrastinating by typing this. As soon as I finish typing this, I will have a snack and work. Yeah, I'm sure I will... I really need to, at least.
MundaneCynicalOcelot Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2015
See? I'm getting up right now. Told you so.
Helioth Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
procrastination comes from fear of judgement, your own or others! 

fear comes from a disturbed mind.

meditation can solve all of this! :D 

meditate and open your third eye,

then become a portal for art to pour through you!

set your focus to what you love :)
Cryaonik Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2015
I procrastinate too much, like, a lot. In bad places too, like for example... you know what? I'll type this later
TheBlueFury Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2015
I should stop procrastinating and going on deviantart and go make myself a sandwich.
Neketti Featured By Owner Edited Sep 2, 2015  Student General Artist
I use to procrastinate, on EVERYTHING. Eating.. Showering. Doing homework. Drawing. Doing requests. Replying to messages. Going outside. Writing.

I didn't realize that this was a problem until I realized one summer that I wasted several months doing close to nothing, and that one day in the future I would be looking back and regretting the youth that I wasted.

My cure was was to just imagine 3 versions of myself. The past, present, and future me. And to treat all versions like a different person, balancing tasks and items each day. And that each day before that I put off, more items will be piled up on the future me- and cause them to suffer while the enjoyment of laziness was already in the past= only suffering is in the future. I wanted to have a better view on life than just suffering, so I strived to at least have the benefit of relaxation for the day ahead. This helped me balance out my time and days mentally, no need for planners or alarms, and is applicable for almost everything I did.

There may be a lot of questions or loopholes in this cure since I started doing this when I was 9 yrs old, but ever since I've been able to stay at the top of my classes even during senior year of high school. So I hope it will help throughout college and for you guys as well.
saochick19 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015
OK I'm a bit stupid here how does one save pictures on here I'm new so sorry if I waste your time
JStylezy Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
In trying to avoid procrastination I end up doing it even more
Sabrina9310 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015
Nice pic
Phylios Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Student General Artist
Yeah...this happens with my schoolwork, especially this *one* subject I didn't even choose...and with my art as well. I've got something I should be doing. Lol. 
Caine-of-Nod Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
How I deal with procrastinating? Like right now, I'm behind on replying to comments and faves; submitting deviations, etc. I've got stuff stockpiling because I don't know where to start or how long it's going to take me to do it all. Maybe I'm lazy. I know I'm crazy. So what do I do? I watch Netflix and Crunchyroll on my smartphone. I read books and comics. I organize my Magic the gathering cards that was in a shoe box and try to put it right. I play my personal computer using my Steam and Origin accounts. Sometimes if feeling really bored I exercise in vain hope to lose some weight. Eventually, procrastination breaks and Focus comes into my mind and I can concentrate on my Art.
TravelerKain Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
I am a procrastinator
jacm365 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
I should be doing something else LOL.
Good tips I will try to follow them and see what happens.
CarriganML Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Professional General Artist
Xena quote !!
JorieNorge Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Professional Artist
Just out of curiousity, why has this been the first thing I have seen on here for roughly the past week? Lol ironic.....
Vigfusse Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
This accurately describes me.
hannia58 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015
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