Become a Better Procrastinator

Become a Better Procrastinator

One of my words for 2017 is purposeful. To me, this means spending my time more wisely and being more intentional about my actions.

As much as I’d love to spend every waking moment of my year engaged in meaningful tasks, the fact of the matter is that it’s not realistic, because, like all people, I get sidetracked from time to time.

I’m sure you’ve been there, too: where you could feel the weight of your to-do lists looming. But, instead of getting to work, you decided to do something else (like scroll through Facebook for the tenth time that hour). This, my friends, is what we all know and love as procrastination.

Procrastination is usually synonymous with wasting time. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way.

What if we procrastinated with intention?

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Hear me out for a moment.

Procrastination is inevitable. Even on our best days, our minds tend to wander. If we’re stuck doing the same thing for too long, we get bored and search for something else to entertain us.

Instead of procrastinating in ways that waste time (like scrolling through social media or binge-watching a show), procrastinate better by doing something that brings you joy.

Engaging in activities that make you happy is never a waste of time. Also, generally speaking, these activities are usually more productive ways to spend our time. They are things that fuel our souls and make us better human beings.

For example, today, I told myself I was going to write for at least 1 hour. When it came time to get to work, I wanted nothing to do with writing. So, I procrastinated by reading a few chapters of Wild while taking a warm bubble bath. Reading is something that never fails to inspire my writer’s brain, so when I was finished relaxing in the tub, I emerged with a newfound sense of motivation. I went on to make significant progress on my writing project.

While I was procrastinating, I managed to get some reading done (which is never a waste of time), while simultaneously gaining motivation to complete my daily goal. Sounds like time well-spent, doesn’t it? Purposeful. Procrastination.

Here are a few ways you can purposefully procrastinate:

  • Read a chapter in a book.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Call your parents and catch up.
  • Research something you’re interested in.
  • Journal.
  • Clean.
  • Meditate.
  • Connect with a friend.
  • Try something new.

It’s impossible to go through life without wasting a little time every now and then. So, just make sure you waste it well. After all, “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time at all.”

  • I definitely find reading to be my favorite form of procrastination! It’s such a treat to give myself some time each day to get lost in a book and truly relax.

  • I really love this Em – I know I won’t get to read by myself with the 3 kids but we love reading together and it’s down time for me so I love this.

  • I like your theory with procrastination. I have recently been busier than I normally am, and sometimes I do not want to deal with my ‘To-Do’ List. I would rather read or clean. Looking at it as being a purposeful procrastination… now that I can handle. Thank you for the insight!

  • I love that – “purposefully procrastinate”. Beautiful idea! This is such a unique post 🙂

    xo Kathryn

  • Gen

    That’s a really interesting point! I’ve heard the saying that “wasting” time doing something you enjoy isn’t wasting time, but I never actually thought to apply it! Definitely a creative spin on procrastination! I will be trying this out in the upcoming semester 🙂 Thanks!

  • Yes! There’s definitely a difference between wasting time and ENJOYING your time

  • I have a very similar goal this year…just worded a bit differently. I promised myself that I would take time for myself every single day. My goal is to spend at least 15 minutes a day cleaning – that’s all I’m committing myself to. In doing so, I’m hoping to free up time to knit, blog, journal, read…(the list goes on for a while.) Best of luck this year!

    • Emily

      That cleaning strategy is smart! I should try that!

  • Very nice tips, they are a great inspiration for me! Thanks for sharing!

  • This is an interesting twist on procrastination. I agree that intentionally putting things off can work in our favor.

  • I love the idea of positive procrastination! I just started practicing hand lettering and I think it’s the perfect way to procrastinate! xo, Jess