Procrastination, for Dummies

Writing Prompt

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “(Your Thing) for Dummies.”

Trust me — it is not as easy as it looks. You have to have stamina, a budding curiosity, and the will to achieve more than you’ve set out for.

I’m talking about procrastination, people: one of the toughest games out there. When you catch that bug, it’s hard to shake. It is like an itch behind your ear as you have your hands glued to the keyboard; it is like a hunger you cannot fulfill no matter how many Peanut M&M’s you consume…

The life of an avid procrastinator is not one to be desired from the Average Joe: most can’t hack it. The weak-hearted end up pulling out of the competition long before that episode of Bob’s Burgers is over. It’s a shame whenever the community loses an old pro — always leaving behind an empty Tweet-less void, and always a ravenous murder of aspiring crows vying for the abandoned post.

Don’t fret, young grasshopper; the following steps will guide you on your way towards becoming the procrastinator you have always dreamed of being…

1. The first step in procrastination is to acknowledge that there is something that you need to get done, and despite its urgency you have to rationalize how you can put it off for “Just 10 more minutes.” THIS IS CRUCIAL. To acknowledge that you have 10 free minutes to fill with a whole bunch of malarkey before getting to your task ensures that you’ll be procrastinating for AT LEAST 30 minutes.

2. The second step in procrastination is the not-so-easy task of finding small things to fill your time with. Make sure to putz  around the living room for a minute, and observe the small remnants from last night’s bout of procrastination: the half-empty sleeve of Ritz crackers, the blanket hanging haphazardly off of the seat of the couch and across the floor, and your socks that were thrown near the far wall towards to your bedroom door (which means they are practically near your hamper). Observe these remnants and use them as inspiration: do not adjust or clean them up. Instead, consider organizing your electronic’s cords, wrapping some of them neatly and shoving the rest on some shelf (location is not really important here — don’t bog yourself down with the details). You must check the contents of the fridge at least twice before settling on a snack. This snack must be somewhat involved, like nacho chips and cheese with salsa on the side.

3. Step three — arguably the most difficult step of them all — is absolutely essential to the mastery of procrastination. This step is not for the faint-hearted; this task is not to be taken lightly. Sit down with your plate of nachos, log onto your computer, open that document you are supposed to be working on, and spill salsa on your keyboard. This is the pivotal moment. You have to decide, What is more important: your work, or your nachos? If you chose your work: you can kiss your procrastination dreams goodbye; you’ll never be entered into the Procrastination Hall of Fame; you’ll never reach 1,000 likes on Facebook. But, if you are so brave to realize that these nachos are the saving grace of your day, then you, my friend, have made it: this is the moment you have been working towards for the past 30 minutes! Now is the time to open YouTube, and click until 11pm.

This list might be daunting; for the new procrastinator, it is not an easy process to perfect. Many have shied away from the glory, but by contrast many who have mastered this process have made it into the history books…. Or, at least onto some kind of Watch List.

Those who are so successful at procrastination, they are never seen again….

As you may have guessed: I am procrastinating…


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