A List Of Highly Effective Ways To Procrastinate

Why procrastination is such an innate behavioral tendency is beyond me, but I think we can agree that it gets the best of all of us. Here’s a list of highly effective ways you can procrastinate that big, intellectually hefty project you’ve already been avoiding for a nerve-racking amount of time.

1. Decide out of nowhere to prepare an elaborately prepared meal that requires the use of multiple internet queries for the recipe as well as a trip to the store for several ingredients needed specifically for the meal you’re about to prepare. Bonus points for generalized waste if the special ingredients you purchase at the store are ones you’ll never use again and that you’ll eventually let rot via the repeated procrastination of cleaning out your fridge.

This method of procrastination will help you avoid your task for at least one hour.

2. ‘Please yourself.’ This method is likely to last longer if you use the internet to get into a so-called Porn Tunnel – a sort of impulsive-yet-not-random one-handed navigational trajectory that leads you through various pornographic websites that include a variety of media (i.e. text, chat, pictures, animated GIFs and video) in such a manner that when you finally Finish you’re viewing something something quite unrelated to what you were when you started.

This method of procrastination will help you avoid your task for at least five minutes and up to three hours.

3. Clean stuff that doesn’t need cleaning. Just before you’re about to write that email you’ve been dreading writing for two weeks, suddenly get up – almost unconsciously – and walk to the kitchen. There’s… a butter knife in the sink. You must wash it. … It must be washed. As you’re washing the butter knife, remember the fact that you haven’t given your French press a real deep clean lately – the kind where you take it apart, soak it in soapy water and scrub the shit out of it. It’s… imminent that a deep clean happens to the French press today. Line that up in the cleaning queue. And etc.

This strategy for procrastination will help you avoid your task for between 10 and 45 minutes.

4. Willingly ‘travel into’ an Internet Tunnel. Similar to the Porn Tunnel, traveling into an Internet Tunnel is the willful, repeated surrender to isolated, internet content ‘paths’ in which all content appeals to the most basic of your emotions. Traveling into an internet tunnel also involves having arrived – when you reach the ‘end’ of the tunnel – at a completely different ‘location’ from where you ‘went in.’ Different types of Internet Tunnels to explore are as follows, but not limited to: conspiracy tunnels, cute animal/baby tunnels, creepy tunnels, gore tunnels, adrenaline tunnels, GIF tunnels and reddit tunnels.

Time spent on this method: 15 minutes to four hours.

5. Sign into Gchat and Facebook chat and set your statuses to Available. Find a relatively empty room in Turntable.fm and queue up a bangin’ DJ set while commenting positively on all the tunes your co-DJ’s throw on. At the same time, begin a ‘Hang Out’ in Google+ and Facebook status update that you’re both Hanging Out in Google+ as well as primed for a Skype chat with “whoever, I’m bored… anyone?”

This way of procrastinating will help you avoid your much-feared project for 1 to 4 hours.

6. Do just enough drugs that you’re basically incapable of performing any kind of intellectually-demanding task. Highly effective drugs for this are: Xanax, painkillers, and of course, alcohol. This is an especially functional way to procrastinate, as you’ll feel simply no responsibility to complete your task once you’re blissed out, because you’ll be simply incapable of performing the task itself, which will grant you the logical justification for procrastination. Bonus points if your initial psychotropic foray leads directly to a 12-hour ‘nap’ or becomes a multiple-day bender during which you blow much of your checking account on something you seriously can’t remember the day you’re incredibly hungover (and still not doing the project).

In all, this procrastination strategy will last you 2 hours to 3 days.

7. Decide it’s finally time to buy something that you were never really committed to buying in the first place – rather, something that you’ve just kind of wanted but have continued to resist buying because it’s a totally frivolous and unnecessary item that you’re actually 95% sure you’ll use twice and then allow to collect dust and eventually set it out on the sidewalk with a Post-It that says FREE on it. Take this procrastination time to go and buy that item; you get extra points for wasting money and contributing unnecessarily to your own carbon footprint, and bonus ones if you allow yourself to enter into a Shopping Tunnel, in which you simply allow your foray for one particular item to turn into a half-day shopping extravaganza during which you visit over five stores and eventually meet up with your friend at Starbucks and forget entirely about the project you were procrastinating.

This way to procrastinate will last between 30 minutes and 5 hours.

8. Answer a bunch of completely unimportant emails that have absolutely no bearing on your school/ work/ career. Just before starting your the project upon which a significant ‘portion’ of your short-term future happiness/ ‘livability’ depends, suddenly realize that you have a lot of stuff to get off your chest, and now would be a great time to do that to your best friend, to whom you haven’t responded to his last email for a number of days. Yes… take this time to write out a bunch of completely inconsequential bullshit about how you feel sort of negative lately but you’re not sure why. Ignore the fact that it might be because you keep putting off this huge project that you won’t admit to yourself is actually incredibly intimidating and anxiety/ denial inducing.

Time spent procrastinating: 15 minutes to one and a half hours. TC mark

image – Arc-light


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Facebook for 1.5 hours it is.  Maybe one day when I have…more free time…I’ll give this list a shot.   

  • Sebastian E.

    I actually did deactivate my Facebook one day to get work down. After doing so, I was so proud of myself. I imagined myself writing paper after paper, getting caught up on all of my school work. I would be able to write my column without checking Facebook every five minutes. Alas, I reactivated it after only one hour had past.

  • Asdf

    Getting carpal tunnel syndrome and tunnel vision from all the Porn Tunnels I’ve traversed.

  • http://twitter.com/lilennox Lindsay Lennox

    For serious, dedicated procrastinators only: http://www.structuredprocrastination.com.

  • Sippycup

    I lose all ambition and anxiety after masturbating because my reptile brain is convinced I successfully passed on my genetic material.

    It also results in the tab closing of shame where I quickly close the 20 tabs of BBW transexual scat porn I opened in a fit of passion.


      really feeling that “tab closing of shame” part.  u speak 2 me.

      • Sandra


  • Jorge

    yeah, like we needed a guide 

  • http://twitter.com/fgg23 Francisco García

    Also, Stumble Upon.

  • guest

    cognitive research shows that the human brain prefers the past of least resistance (unless cognitively engaged/challenged at a level that is pleasing). it’s totally natural to procrastinate! woohOOo!

  • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

    “Ways to proscrastinate” should be TC’s mission statement, non?

  • http://twitter.com/RobynMatthews89 Robyn Matthews

    reading this article was an effective way to procrastinate for about 5 minutes and now to go see what new entries i haven’t read: at least an hour

  • Mary

    Brandon, glad to see you have given up on putting the number of points you’ve listed in the title of your column! :-) No more embarrassing 10 (oh, I mean 11) fiascos. ;-) Loved this one!

  • Anonymous

    “It must be washed.” One day, I was so keen on procrastinating that I cleaned my toaster and killed, like, 3 hours. So many fucking crumbs.

  • Anonymous

    “It must be washed.” One day, I was so keen on procrastinating that I cleaned my toaster and killed, like, 3 hours. So many fucking crumbs.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    Funny that I’m employing one or more of these.  It is not 2:04 am and I have to do what I did in 2 and a half weeks between now and 7am.

  • Anonymous

    hey, today’s cow appreciation day! today’s to do list:
    -go on a search for cow costume
    -go to chik fil-a and get free food

    sounds like a reasonably productive day

  • http://kilakilakila.blogspot.com/ brittany wallace

    i’ve been doing all of these for years now and i think i forgot what i was supposed to be doing…

  • douchegirl

    My Internet Tunnels last way, way, WAY longer than 4 hours. 

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