There’s a lot to be said for sitting on your ass eating popcorn and watching back to back episodes of Parks & Rec for the eleventy billionth time. Procrastination is the funnest; basically, it’s just doing a whole bunch of lazy, indulgent things that are really, really enjoyable. The same could be said for shelving ecstasy–it’s an instantaneous higher than high high, but in two days you’re going to feel guilty, depressed, and way behind on all the regular stuff that makes life livable, like vacuuming or sending emails.
I am a big fan of procrastination. Having spent 7 years at University and a full 2 years after that aimlessly trying to figure out my mid-20s larger than large crisis–WHO AM I AND WHAT DO I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE?–my form of procrastination isn’t the plebeian shit most of you are used to, but rather, an artisanal craft. I can, essentially, do the aforementioned TV and popcorn scenario while lying naked, flat on my bed, head propped against some pillows, picking ingrown hairs and scrolling through Twitter at the same time. It’s almost productive.
However, like a pill shoved in your butt hole, procrastination is only a temporary pleasure, and the come down can be anxiety inducing with the realization that an hour, a day, or a week of your life has just disappeared with nothing to show for it but a memorized, joke-for-joke ability to monologue your favorite sitcom. This will not pay your rent, nor will your landlord be amused when you attempt to deliver him not a check, but a one-woman dramatic re-enactment of “The One With Joey’s Fridge”.
Achieve something today. Actually, achieve something every day. The sense of pride that comes with achievement is, believe it or not, more exhilarating than picking dry skin off your toes and stalking your ex-boyfriend’s Facebook. I promise. It doesn’t even have to be anything ground breaking–it can be as simple as sweeping your apartment. Or FINALLY going to the post office to buy those stamps you needed. Do something, anything, that keeps you moving forward. Inertia will keep you absolutely unaware of your own potential.
Set goals for yourself. Write a list. I love lists. Draw little empty boxes next to every list item, and tick them off as you go. Lists are like self-assessment charts that let you know how shit or how well your day went. It’s rare to tick all the boxes, but even if you tick a few, every time your pen makes that congratulatory little mark, you’ll swell a little bit inside. You did it! You are today’s hero!
And as good as it will feel to hit all these tiny little beats as you go–scrubbing the bathtub, removing your manky nail polish, paying the Internet bill–you’ll feel even better when you hit the big ones. When you finish an article, email an invoice, make that phone call; as your professional life benefits, you’ll begin to swell even bigger on the inside, like you can feel your soul beating through your bones. You’ll build momentum too–when I achieve one good thing, I become overwhelmed with a motivation to fulfill the next goal, and so success begets success.
At the end of it, when all the little boxes are finally ticked (hint: they never will be; as one box falls another rises), the ritual of laying about and picking at ingrown hairs will become so much more enjoyable. With nothing resting on your subconscious, nothing to inwardly stress over, knowing that you’ve done as much as you can and will again tomorrow, the feeling of that little folded up hair spurting out, and all that weird pus crap that comes out with it, will be so, so sweet.