Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Procrastinating Productively

If you have clicked on this post, I am going to hazard a guess that at least 30% of you will have done it out of procrastination. It's easy, we all do it. However I'm going to make a bold claim here, I don't think I procrastinate nearly as much as I used to at Uni last year. Whether it be that I have less things that require me to sit and read and be staring at my laptop screen, that's potentially true, however I just seem to be able to know when I am in the mood to work and really harness it now. And when I am not, it's amazing how much washing and cleaning gets done.

This isn't some sort of list that will guarantee you will never procrastinate again. I just wanted to talk through some of the ways I think I have found which stop me from falling into the hole that is the Buzzfeed quiz. I know what Kardashian I am based on what I ate for breakfast, I know what city I should live in based on what colour of socks I am wearing and I answer yes to almost all of the "If you went to school in the early 00's can you remember these things?" Some might say these are essential things you need to know about yourself however I am increasingly unconvinced.

At the start of every day that I plan to work during, whether it be a weekend where I want to get lots of blog posts written, or a day in the library at uni, I love writing a to do list. In the January sales this year I picked up this Daily Journal by "Oh Deer" from Urban Outfitters which has totally changed the way I plan my day. I tried for months to get into Bullet Journaling but it just wasn't for me. I would get stressed if the page didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted which totally defeated the point. I love this journal because it has a similar idea but keeps it simple and straightforward. Being able to choose a motto for the day before you sit down to work is a great touch, because every time you open the journal to tick something off you can reread it and make sure you are on the right track. Some days I pick a quote I like, some days I put a smiley face reminding me to just smile and be happy. With two columns I love being able to separate my lists into work/misc. and I normally use the objectives/projects section for blog post ideas or timescales.

I had a teacher at school who said, and I honestly cannot believe I am quoting this on my blog years later, "You can do a lot in five minutes." Any KG gals reading just take a moment now. But honestly it is so true. If you sit down to work and fifteen minutes later you are still reading the same paragraph over and over or are still staring blankly at that unwritten email, then you are just not ready to work. Accept it. Whatever you do, don't accept it so much that you get back into bed and start watching Netflix, c'mon now. Take five minutes and address something smaller on your to do list. Pay that bill or tidy up your desk. So many little tasks would take five minutes or less to do, yet we put them off and they build up into a long to-do list that takes us hours to psych ourselves up into tackling.

Talking of tidying, I have really noticed this year how much better I work when my desk is tidy. I've been told this for years, it's no ground-breaking statement I am making here. I'm also not claiming to have a tidy desk all the time, that thought is laughable, but when I do I notice a big improvement in my focus levels. If I know I have a lot to get done in a day, I will make sure I try and at least clear my desk and light my candle in the hope of channelling my inner work boss.

I guess the point I am making here is that if you set yourself up to work with a to-do list, clear mind and tidy workspace the chances of you procrastinating unproductively are much less. If you aren't making progress then stop and do something else for five minutes.

The ironic thing is, that despite setting myself an hours time limit for blogging this morning I have run over and am eating into my essay time. I guess you could call this productive procrastination? I love starting my day with blogging because it gets me in the zone to be writing or thinking on my laptop yet it is something I enjoy doing and I always feel like I am achieving something.

So if you are one of the 30% that are procrastinating right now, thank you for using that time semi-productively to read my blog but it's time to get back to work. Your five minutes is over. As is my hour, back to the essay I go.



  1. I always work better when my space is tidy! I think that you've raised a great point - sometimes you're body and your brain are telling you that you need to procrastinate right now because you just aren't ready to focus yet! x

  2. Exactly! Thank you so much for reading :) xx

  3. I love writing a good to do list, but I always struggle with figuring out how long something is actually going to take me. And sticking to time limits – that's also a struggle for me...

    1. I sometimes struggle sticking to time limits, especially if I enjoy what I am working on! Thanks for reading xx


© Miss Zarabelle. All rights reserved.