As a person whose professional title is YouTube Trends Specialist, I spend a whole lot of time scavenging the interwebs. It’s a land where procrastination runs wild and can grow from one “quick 7 minute David Tenant fan video” into hours of watching “Dr. Who” conspiracy theories. Suddenly you look up and your cats have already dibs the best pillows because it’s midnight and they have better sleep habits than you.
This is really how all my writing projects start. I begin with the perfect setup: A mug of ice tea, notes written out in my Harry Potter notebook and the greatest intention to dive right into my work. “I’ll just watch one cover of Broadway stars singing Demi Lovato covers and then tuck right into work,” I declare with a kind of conviction that would make all those productivity articles I’ve been reading very proud.
But alas, this time is no different than the thousands of writing nights before, and one performance of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” turns into an evening concert with Jeremy Jordan’s most-viewed YouTube videos. Procrastination, what a real pain in the ass.
But as much as I want to condemn it entirely as the extinguisher of my writing productivity, I have to credit my procrastination for sending me down some very enjoyable, and very random rabbit holes. Yes, procrastination can be a time suck that left untreated can lead to heart burn, nausea, dry mouth, hives, fatigue, and in extreme cases, death. But when approached with a little creativity, your procrastination can fuel your curiosity and in most cases, lead to some very fun facts you can then share with coworkers the next day.
Example: Taylor Trensch and Ben Levi Ross are currently playing the role of Evan Hansen on Broadway and in the national “Dear Evan Hansen” tour. Fun fact, they’re the first romantic couple to play the same role at the same time — something I wouldn’t have figured out except for the hour I spent pouring through their Instagrams. So go, spread the good word!
If you’re looking to drum up your productivity, this ain’t the post for you. But if you’re here to take your procrastination rituals from three to a solid seven, here are my top procrastination habits that spice up an evening of writing and turn it into an evening of doing everything but.
Ways to Procrastinate Like a Professional
1.Sure, you’re already a great procrastinator because you’re a normal human being. But are you the best procrastinator you can possibly be? I have spent hours, HOURS, watching famous Broadway stars sing pop songs in New York. It’s my bread and butter especially when on deadline. Because I use YouTube so often, my algorithm is now perfectly formulated to spit out golden video after golden video that sucks my productivity out with the tide. Should you need any yourself, may I recommend: Bo Burnham’s comedy specials, “The Greatest Showman’s” “This is Me” first performance (sobs), my favorite Jabbawockeez performance, documentaries on how pointe shoes are made. I made an entire playlist of my favorite videos to watch when I just need to take a minute avoiding responsibility, enjoy!
2. Attempt to figure out a couple’s relationship status through social media. Celebrities, YouTube creators, friends of friends — the world of love is your oyster! But once you figure out they’re in a long-term relationship take a moment to lament the fact that you’ll never date Harry Shum Jr. or Darren Criss or that tuba player in the Huntertones. What could have been! Then realize, this is crazy and you need to start writing again.
3. Google how to fight moths in your apartment. Then realize your apartment is too old to eradicate all the moths from your closet, give up, accidentally click on an article about bed bugs and spiral into sheer terror.
4. Learn all the words to “Baby Got Back” to sing at the next company Christmas party.
5. Organize your closet in sleeve length/color order.Attempt to ignore the seven little kids running around upstairs. Grow angry and throw popcorn at the ceiling until you see them in the stairwell and they’re adorable. Turn mixed-emotions into children’s book idea and begin writing.
6. Make a list of people who have wronged you and place a tiny curse on them so throughout the next week annoying things — like getting hit in the face by leaves — will keep happening to them.
7. Attempt to memorize EE Cumming’s poem “i carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.”
8. Marie Kondo your house before realizing you’ve never read the book and therefore don’t quite know the difference between “This doesn’t bring me joy” and “this is just a boring life necessity.” Put everything back in your closet and consider buying the book. Decide to order “The Life Changing Magical of Not Giving a F*ck” instead because it seems like a better future investment.
9. Think of the guy you once had a crush on sophomore year of college school. Debate looking him up before going full detective to see what he’s been doing for the past six years. Contemplate if you’d still date him, realize that’s crazy and quickly clear your search history to hide the evidence. Repeat as necessary with every crush you’ve ever had depending on how much you want to avoid this impending deadline.
10. Put your glasses down while you wash your face. Proceed to forget where you put your glasses and spent 30 minutes patting down the surfaces of your house attempting to find them.
11. Try to take selfies with your cats who are never game for such nonsense. Instead you end up taking photos like this to prove to your cats enjoy hanging out with you.
Now go forth and grow into your best procrastinating self you can be! In the wise words of Abraham Lincoln, “Life is fleeting but cat selfies are forever.”