You’ve got work to do today. You know it. I know it. But for some reason it just doesn’t want to flow. Your brain does not like your job today, it does not like your essay, or homework, or project. It doesn’t even like you. Perhaps you have a deadline. Your brain likes that even less then. Great!
The 8 stages of Procrastination
Number 1. The Stare
You’re sitting there with an empty Word Document or piece of paper in front of you. Fingers ready to type. Annnnnd… Nope. Nothing. Your brain has immediately frozen. You remember no words. Or you remember one or two and get them out. And then you realise how stupid you sound and delete them.
Perhaps you’ve already written a substantial amount of pages but you’re at a dead end, a brick wall. This instigates The Scroll/Scan. How ever you chose to flick through your work, it will be edged with slight annoyance at the lack of ideas currently escaping your brain. You’re just mindlessly staring at your stupid screen.
Number 2. The Click
You’re getting frustrated with yourself. Your brain is being really fucking useless. Click. Why can’t you think of any thing to say? Click. What are you doing this for anyway? Click. I mean really how is this ever going to help anyone? Click. Click. That stupid blank screen. Click. Click.
It’s mocking me! Click. Click. Click. Click. I hate it! Click click click click click click click click click.
Whether your choice of weapon is a pen. Or the point of your finger. Your foot. Leg. Mouse. Best mate. Complete stranger that was sitting too close to you. You have cracked. That’s right, you’re officially broken.
Number 3. The Anything-But
Right now, you know that nothing’s going to get done. You’re pissed off but trapped in your work-like position. You stay put. You do anything but the thing you’ve got to do. You might answer your e-mails; practical but not your work. You might flick through a book or magazine; distracting but it’s not your work. You might text your friends; it’s entertaining but it’s not your work. You might decide to make a cup of tea; it’s necessary but it’s definitely not your work. You might decide to stuff your face with food; it’s definitely nourishing but it’s definitely not your work. You might decide to go for a walk; it’s definitely refreshing but it’s definitely not your fucking work. You might decide that you want to play on your xbox or write a blog about procrastination; it’s fucking awesome, sure, but it’s NOT YOUR FUCKING WORK!
Number 4. The Lie
So now your officially distracted. You’re sitting somewhere. Probably not at your desk anymore. Let’s face it. You’re not even pretending to work. You’re just… doing nothing. Well done.
But it’s all okay right? I mean, you failed at life today, there’s always tomorrow. You didn’t really need to finish those pages, did you? You didn’t need to hit your goals, did you? Naaah. You’re good. You can do it tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. You’ll catch up. Do everything you were meant to do today and more. Tomorrow, you’re going to be awesome. Yeah. Tomorrow.
Number 5. The Realisation
Let’s say it’s a couple of hours later. You’re still doing nothing and maybe someone comes and tells you all of the great things they’ve done today. Or you read something inspiring whilst mindlessly scrolling the internet.
And then you realise. You’ve done nothing today. You’ve. Done. Nothing. All day. Nothing. Nuh-thing. You have not worked. You have not contributed. You have not done life today. And that thing you’ve got to do. That work deadline. That’s still there. Except now it’s a little closer. And you’re a little further behind. You’re screwed. And you know that your screwed.
Number 6. The Flail
You flip open your laptop, or do whatever you have to do to make your work appear in front of you. And you type. You type words. All. Of. The. Words. And you just keep going. Don’t stop. Even though you hate every one of those stupid letters. Even though you want this work to go die somewhere. You just keep typing. Sweat pours from your fingers. Your eyes start to go all bloodshot and watery. It’s dark outside but you don’t care. You just type! Go! Go! Go!
Number 7. The I-Can’t-Do-This-Anymore
You cry. You just sit there and cry. You cry everywhere. You’re a mess. Look at you. Pathetic. You can’t do this anymore. You can’t pretend to know words. You can’t pretend to work. You can’t pretend that it will all be okay. You just have to do it. But you can’t. But why is it so god damn hard?
Sob sob sob. You fall softly into the sweet and comforting fetas position. Even crying’s allowed here. You can’t do it. So just don’t. Just lie there. Go on. If someone is near by you might even get a gentle pat. This is an extra comfort for you.
Number 8. The Defeat
You can’t stay down there forever, can you? Get off the floor. Do something! Oh oh, no, sorry, you’re fine. A moment longer perhaps. Little baby steps. But you know that you’ve got to beat this thing, don’t you? You’ll probably regret it if you don’t. So go on. Get up. That’s better. Remember those baby steps. Back to your seat now.
Oh. Is that your work? Funny, it looks great. Look at all those words! You are clever, aren’t you. Yeah. You can do this. If you just remember one thing. Everybody makes shit up all the time. So join the group. Become a bullshitter, be proud of your words. And eventually, anyway, you’ll forget all about what made you so upset. And think to yourself, what a prick I was, for complaining about all those silly little words. For letting them win. Because you know, no, we know, that they won’t really mean that much in the end. It’s all about you winning. Go on, you can do it. Go win.