How to Procrastinate

I’ve been away. No, nowhere nice – I’ve been researching the beautiful art of procrastination. What the Italians poetically refer to as ‘Il bel far niente’ which literally translates as sitting in my pants and eating crisps.

Folks these days are far too productive. Stress-related disorders have never been higher, and there is huge pressure on us to have it all: the spotless pad, the dream career, three month sabbaticals spent building orphanages in Tibet, Michelin level dinner parties… and all before rubbing yourself down with sea salt and completing an arctic triathlon with the friends you made whilst studying your Human Rights Law degree.

It’s no wonder we all complain of feeling tired all the time.

High productivity has been a concern of mine for some time, and as such I have been tirelessly researching a cure. The tips below are borne from years of putting things off and not achieving very much. Take it one step at a time, and within a matter of weeks, you too could realise absolutely nothing.

Step 1 – develop a mild habitual wine habit

If you regularly make time to exercise, chances are you aren’t drinking enough. The key to success with this habit is visualisation. Start to imagine a delicious glass of wine from about two-thirds of the way into your working day. That way, come home time, you’ll be salivating at the thought of your well-earned quaff. Doesn’t have to be wine either, beer works just as well. And you don’t need to have any more than one or two drinks daily. Practice this habit for a week and I guarantee your attendance at regular gym sessions and group sporting activities will see a noticeable reduction, unlike your waist line.

Step 2 – buy an iPad

So you’re spending way too much time and energy on meaningful relationships and stimulating conversation? Do you find yourself completing all personal admin tasks ahead of time, with no discernible effort? Then, friend, you need to get with the program and get yourself an iPad. You’ll be amazed at how the hours fly by while you fondle your expensive rectangle, and the only thing you’ll have achieved is a bountiful virtual crop and a very decent Spotify playlist. Relationships and conversation will be a thing of the past, as you gradually lose the ability to pronounce vowels and forget to brush your teeth for three straight days. Step two will also address the weight gain from step one as you’ll forget to eat, except for the odd handful of dry cereal straight from the box to stop yourself from passing out halfway through Donkey Kong.

Step 3 – get really, really into soaps

I haven’t tried soap-watching because I suffer from a severe TV allergy, and even depressing theme music could trigger an anaphylactic episode, but friends and family who use this method have reported very noticeable reductions in just about everything else. As an additional benefit, further hours can be wasted hosting in-depth judging sessions about fictional people’s shit lives with other soap users.

Step 3a – get really, really into watching sports

As an appendix to step 3, you may also find it useful to get into watching other people play sports on TV. This is a fantastic tactic to ensure you play absolutely no sports yourself. There are a plethora of sports you can watch, sat prostrate on your couch, eating Doritos off your own distended belly. Just be careful not to absorb too much information about the rules or anything – you don’t want to accidentally learn something and undo all your good work. The best way to avoid this is to nod off every hour or so for about twenty minutes, reawakening with a good nasal snort.

Step 4 – I’ll get back to you about that one later. The snooker’s started and my pizza’s just arrived….

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