Friday, February 01, 2008

Productive Procrastination

We all have our little ways of putting off the stuff we have to do. And the more stuff I have to do--the more I think about my to-do list, and add items to the list, and break items down into still more items; the more I look around my house and see tiny messes everywhere--the more creative ways I find of procrastinating.

My favorite methods of procrastination, though, are the ones which I can fool myself into thinking are actually productive activity. And, in fact, they usually are, to some extent. Just not productive in the sense of finishing up work or housecleaning.

  • Exercising. There's no doubt: exercising is good for you. I hear it's been medically proven or something. I can't say I love exercising, though I do enjoy it. But I enjoy it a whole lot more when I have, say, a long list of crap I gotta do at home or on the computer, and I decide that I'm going to take a break and go to the gym for an hour or two. This works particularly well when I have something I really don't want to do, or if I'm supposed to be writing but I'm creatively bummed out. Sure, I didn't get the stuff I was supposed to do, done. I was too busy attending to my health. Uh, yeah, that's it. And sometimes, on rare occasions, I get lucky and feel energized when I'm done, and get more accomplished than I'd originally planned. Like I said, though--those are lucky days.
  • Cooking. This might be my top-favorite-number-one way to procrastinate. I mean, firstly, I love cooking. Secondly, I love eating. Thirdly, my husband loves eating. If I cook, we get to eat cool stuff. And you gotta eat, right? Right. Also, ever since we've been getting our weekly CSA box, we have more interesting vegetables to experiment with. They're practically begging me to cook them. Cooking makes me feel like I've done a whole bunch of work, plus there's that built-in reward at the end.

There are some dubiously productive ways of procrastinating, too. Like blogging. This blog entry is pure time wastage. But if I'm blogging for the YA writing blog, I feel like it's somewhat work-related. Same goes for reading. I can sit on the couch for a long-ass time with a book and tell myself I'm just doing required research. After all, I'm a writer, right? I have to keep current in my field, right? Sure.

And on that note...time to get some actual work done. Really. I mean it this time. Here I go.

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