You have a major assignment due in the morning. You haven’t started. What do you do first?
Check your email
Hey, there might be something important in there!
Check your voicemail
Which you haven’t done in, like, a month because seriously, who doesn’t just text at this point? Do you even still have a voicemail box? Welp, now seems like a good time to find out!
Start a load of laundry
No, but really, this is legit. You’ve been needing to do laundry forever. This needs to happen immediately.
Call that friend who you’ve been meaning to catch up with
How can you possibly focus on work/homework when you have this horrible, nagging, guilty feeling in the pit of your soul because you’ve been neglecting a friendship that’s important to you? This is for your mental health. How can you not call? You have to clear your conscience before you can be expected to focus on work.
It will just take a second. No work can be done when there is the possibility of unchecked notifications. Clearly, you’ll end up chatting with someone and commenting on a half dozen things and getting side-tracked by at least two interesting articles on your news feed, but let’s pretend that’s not true. Oh, and post a status update about how much work you have to do.
Check your email
Who knows what massively important, time-sensitive emails might’ve come in the last hour since you checked?
Tweet that funny thing before you forget
What, like you’re supposed to spend the next few days hating yourself if you forget?
Organize your room
OMG, no wonder you can’t get shit done. Um, it’s called Feng Shui (you think.) A cluttered room means a cluttered brain, so taking time to tidy up is really an investment in a higher quality of work once you actually start working. This practically is working.
Put your laundry in the dryer
You can’t just leave it sitting there.
I bet that new status update has a whole lot of likes by now.
See how many retweets that earlier tweet got
Checking TweetDeck after posting a truly brilliant tweet is like watering your garden after planting seeds – it would be irresponsible of you not to.
Clean out your inbox
It’s been eating at you since you checked your email (twice) earlier. You have like a thousand newsletters and expired daily deal emails that need deleting, a still-unread email from your landlord that you’ve just been letting sit there to give you a knot in your stomach every time you see it, and a fuck ton of emails that need filing. Maybe you need a new folder system to organize them? MAYBE YOU DO. Now seems like a good time.
Make a list of everything you need to do
Okay, it’s time to get serious about all this work you have to do: make a list of all the tasks and projects and assignments, in order of when they’re due. Then rewrite it according to how long they will take you. Write it by hand and take a second to marvel/be disgusted at how great/shitty your penmanship is.
Research list making and task organizing apps
You would be so much more organized if you had (another) one. This is a completely valid use of your time.
Take a nap
Maybe you didn’t get your work done, but you accomplished a lot! You’ve earned it. Okay, maybe not, but at this point, you’re going to do a way better job if you get a little rest and attack your assignments refreshed.
Ugh, naps are so draining. Need caffeine.
Did you seriously just drink coffee on an empty stomach? Is this your first day of life? Get thee to the kitchen, amateur.
Cooking is bullshit.
Watch an episode of something
Just while you wait for the food! That’s allowed!
Uggghhh so gooooood. Why can’t this be your job? Can we suddenly be graded on how many calories we can consume in one sitting?
Check email and all social media
It’s been a while. Obviously this is happening.
Text someone about how much you’re procrastinating
This is getting serious. How have you honestly still not done this goddamn work yet? Text someone about what a terrible slacker you are. Bonus points if it’s someone who has to do the same work who likely hasn’t done it yet either.
Read articles about procrastinating
And feel good that at least you’re not alone. Everyone is pretty much constantly living life while putting off things they have to do.
Think about whether or not you can wake up early and do your work then
I mean, isn’t waking up early better for you anyway? Maybe you’re too stressed from procrastinating to even make your brain work right now. What if you just accepted that work isn’t going to happen, spent the rest of the night relaxing, got lots of sleep, and woke up early ready to knock that shit out? Yes. That’s the plan. Let’s do that.