As life has gone on I have slowly but surely accepted the fact that I am a major procrastinator. Any homework assignment, any project, any type of deadline I receive is thinned down to the wire. Ever since I have accepted the fact that I'm a procrastinator and my ADD won't let me focus unless I'm in a pressurized rush I've tried to find better activities to fill my time between coffee and caffeine fueled cram sessions. As I've expanded my procrastination activities list, I've found certain ones to be more beneficial to myself and my development as a well rounded individual. So for all you procrastinators out there here is a list of 10 things you can feel good about doing to procrastinate:
1. Learn a new instrument
You don't have to be musically inclined or know all kinds of music terminology and theory to learn a new instrument. In my opinion, picking up a new instrument and trying to learn it with the aid of the internet or lessons is the best place to begin to learn that type of knowledge. I like the using the internet to learn because its cheaper and you get all kinds of different "teachers" with different backgrounds teaching you different techniques and can help cover more difficult techniques in various ways. Piano and guitar are among the most common but great for getting the basics down and having numerous levels of expertise to keep you playing your whole life! Why get your homework done when you have a whole lifetime of learning guitar to catch up on?
2. Learn a new art technique or medium
If you're like me, you've had many times where the reason you probably procrastinated on assignments is because you didn't know the material and the reason you didn't know the material is because you were doodling during class and not paying attention. Well why not bump up your skill level and try a new drawing technique or try and sculpt or use watercolors? The list of art mediums goes on and on and if you're creative enough anything can be turned into art, I once heard of a guy who punched a whole in his wall and decided to put a frame around it as a joke and everybody loved it. Now I don't advise destroying your home, especially if it's not actually yours and you're renting, but get creative instead of being the sap that gets a 100 percent on every assignment.
If you don't want to sit down and write about the macro-economical effects of amending the constitution or whatever mind-numbing topic your teacher gives you because just thinking about it causes your brain to stop working, then try writing about something else. Keeping a journal or collection of different short stories or poems is great to get to explore the mind and learn about what you really think and learn about yourself. It also can help you stop procrastinating if you do it right before writing a paper or essay just to get the writing block over with, but can also make you procrastinate more if you really get into it. Either way you get more writing done and you're not just brainlessly watching something to do with Kim and Kanye.
4. Listen to an album from an artist/genre you haven't heard
As a recent acquirer of a record player and my Grandma's collection of records and impulse buying a few of my own, I've found that listening to an entire album all the way through has a completely different feel to it than just picking and choosing the tracks that make the radio top ten or just the ones you really like. On a record player it's much more of a chore to switch songs so I usually prefer to just play and listen to the whole thing and it can change the way you think about the album or the artist and possibly even the genre. It allows you to find the hidden gems that the radio doesn't play or get the full story that the album is telling if that's the artist's intent. I say exploring and "treasure hunting," whether it be in the wilderness, another city or country, or music is always better than studying the books about them.
5. Learn a new language
The world is a complicated and it doesn't help to understand it when the people you are trying to communicate with are speaking another language. So why not try to clear things up a bit and boost your resume by learning a new language. It can impress a lot of people if you can teach them new phrases or cool sounding ways of saying their favorite catchphrase. Have you ever been to a foreign country and couldn't figure out where you were going or what to order because you couldn't read the signs or menu? Wouldn't it be so much better if you could fully explore without looking like a tourist as much. Not to mention some companies will pay you more if you can speak another language, usually Spanish here in America but I'm sure some companies will pay for other languages. So bon voyage homework!
If you're gonna run away from your problems until the last minute then you might as well be good at it. It could also help you when it comes down to crunch time too! There are studies all over the place that show consistent exercise improves stress and brain function. So run you're heart out that way you're prepped for the next time you're stuck in a bind. Not too mention you'll start to look better and feel better about yourself as you progress, physically and mentally.
7. Learn to cook
Have you ever procrastinated something until you ate and then decided to make a masterpiece? Just some ramen instead? Well there are all kinds of websites and and cookbooks that will guide you along the path to deliciousness! BAM! Now isn't that a spicy meatball! If you really want to develop your skills and work on your independence then learn some sizzling skills and impress all your friends and family or future partners! You can cram some great chow while you cram some mad knowledge if you learn the ways of the kitchen.
8. Watch a movie or TV show from a new genre
Netflix is the ultimate procrastinator's tool, yet I continuously hear about people watching the same movies and television shows over and over again. Ever heard of Netflix roulette? No? Well, I dare you to give it a try! You can always change it if you don't like it, there are so many options: documentaries, independent, horror, comedy, romance, thriller, drama, action, sci-fi, and all kinds of mixes of the aforementioned genres. You'll kill so much time once you find something you like that you'll forget about any responsibilities you had and be able to get more of the pop culture references your friends make.
9. Read or watch self-development material
Have you ever needed help finding the motivation to go work and found a video online filled with great sports clips and awesome background music and some famous person giving you one of the greatest pump up speeches you've ever heard? Well, me too. Turns out there are some other pretty good ones from great philosophers and other inspirational figures that can help you get through some rough emotional times or give you just the right perspective to get you through the situation you are in. There are also a lot of different websites for personal development or advice for those seeking it. Check them out and for all you know you may decide to do something else completely different than what you're going to school for. Then not only are you figuring more about yourself and what you want to do with your life but you can even put off graduation!
10. Explore news or blogs from around the world, or at least not something local.
When you get wrapped up in your own little world and all of a sudden are thrown out into the world and outside of your comfort zone things can spin out of control pretty quickly. When you know about more than just your own life and where you grew up, it shows. You can have more conversations, tell better stories, connect with more people that you wouldn't have expected, and look good while doing it. It's a great big world out there and if you don't have the means to explore it like you want then do your best to learn more and see the world with the help of the the internet and the library. Sure it's a wild world but wouldn't you rather see just how crazy it is so you can enjoy you're life more and prepare yourself for what lies ahead of you when you decide to step out into the wilderness? What better way to put off going into the wilderness by than putting it off to get ready for it?
Hope you enjoyed these suggestions and can feel better about your procrastination habits! Thanks for reading!