Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Professional Procrastination Phases Program

Category: Issue 20

Professional Procrastination Phases Program

Phase One: Begin to write a guide to procrastination rather than do anything productive. Alliterate the title of your guide. Put off doing the rest of your guide for a while… look at the words you have written that make up another assignment. Continue to stare. Staring will help the assignment somehow. Realise the completed half of your assignment doesn’t really make much sense. This is bad because that was all you knew about the subject and it could potentially have been written by a cat walking across a keyboard. However, this is also good because you can spend the other half of the essay explaining the parts that don’t make sense. However, this is bad because you don’t really know what you’re trying to say. Continue to stare at the screen. Tilt your head to one side like a dog does when it’s confused. The change in angle of the screen should help. Notice a punctuation error. Change the punctuation error. Move away from the screen. If anyone asks how the assignment is going simply tell them you have been ‘proofreading.’ This is not a lie. You have made progress. Spend the next few minutes convincing yourself that you’ll get it done and how lucky it was that you spotted your punctuation mistake. If you had left that comma there instead of a semi colon you surely would have failed. Clean something. Start small. Put your CDs in alphabetical order. Put on a CD. This will help you get inspired for your essay. Sit back at the computer. Stare at the screen for a while. Add a little bit to your procrastination guide. Your desk is messy. Clean it. Make three piles of papers. The keep pile is for things you need. The chuck pile is located in the bin. The maybe pile is on the floor. That’s a great start. File away your ‘keep’ pile. Separate this pile into categories. Alphabetical order is ideal for procrastination but not always practical. Your desk should now be relatively clear. The CD you put on has probably finished by now. Replace it with another one. Turn your CD player into an audio time machine.

[Audio time machine tutorial: Take a CD that was released this year. When that CD finishes, chose a CD that came out last year. Repeat this process until you have reached as far back as your music collection allows or until you are sick of it. Never break sequence or the aura of the audio time machine will suffer. Make sure the music you choose is what you think of as ‘cool’. Feeling ‘cool’ will help you focus and enhance both the study and the procrastination experiences. Remember, obscure is good. Classics are also good. Obscure classics are perfect.
For example: 2010: Gorillaz - Plastic Beach. 2009: Black Lips - 200 Million Thousand. 2008: Deerhoof - Offend Maggie. 2007: 1990s – Cookies. 2006: Islands – Return To The Sea. 2005: Wolf Parade – Apologies To The Queen Mary. 2004: The Hives – Tyrannosaurus Hives. 2003: Ween – Quebec. 2002: The Libertines – Up The Bracket. 2001: Mogwai – Rock Action. 2000: At The Drive-In – Relationship Of Command. 1999: Pavement – Terror Twilight. 1998: Massive Attack – Mezzanine. 1997: Suede – Sci-Fi Lullabies. 1996: You Am I – Hourly/Daily. 1995: Pulp – Different Class. 1994: Blur – Parklife. 1993: Bjork – Debut. 1992: PJ Harvey – Dry. 1991: My Bloody Valentine – Loveless. 1990: Inspiral Carpets – Life. 1989: The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses. 1988: Morrissey – Viva Hate. 1987: Happy Mondays- Squirrel And G-Man: Twenty Four Hour Party People. 1986: The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead. 1985: The Jesus And Mary Chain – Psychocandy. 1984: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – From Her To Eternity. 1983: The Fall – Perverted By Language. 1982: The Cure – Pornography. 1981: Madness – Seven. 1980: Adam And The Ants – Kings Of The Wild Frontier. 1979: Elvis Costello And The Attractions – Armed Forces. 1978: The Jam – All Mod Cons. 1977: David Bowie – Low. 1976: Ramones – Ramones. 1975: Roxy Music – Siren. 1974: Captain Beefheart – Bluejeans And Moonbeams. 1973: The Who – Quadrophenia. 1972: Neil Young – Harvest. 1971: T. Rex – Electric Warrior. 1970: The Doors – LA Woman. 1969: Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I. 1968: Small Faces – Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake. 1967: Cream – Disraeli Gears. 1966: The Rolling Stones – Aftermath. 1965: The Sonics – Here Are The Sonics. 1964: The Kinks – Kinks. 1963: The Beatles – Please Please Me. 1962: Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan. 1961: BB King – My Kind Of Blues. 1960: Johnny Cash – Ride This Train.

Assuming you have covered fifty years as in the example, your audio time machine should take around thirty hours to listen to, giving you ample inspiration while you write your essay. This may take a while to plan but it is a necessary expenditure of your time. You wouldn’t want to lose motivation half way through. Make sure all these albums are on your ipod so that you can do anything while still listening to it.]

Phase Two: Now that you have your sound organized it’s time to move on. Your desk looks very tidy. There are papers all over your floor. The ‘maybe’ pile from your desk is bigger than you expected. You have a few options. Option 1: Gather up these papers and force them into the drawers of your desk. Option 2: Throw out the papers because they’re probably useless anyway. Option 3: Put them out of sight and out of mind, somewhere like your wardrobe will do nicely. If you opted for option 3 you will no doubt have noticed that your clothes are hung up facing different directions. Take everything out and re-hang it all. Coathangers should face the back and jackets and shirts open to the left. Now that your wardrobe is properly organized you should be able to focus on your essay… right after lunch.

Phase Three: You can’t have a simple sandwich. You need something that will fuel your body and mind for a long time while you do your essay. Go to Google and search for foods that help with study. You will discover that the top five foods are fish, soy, citrus fruit, berries and leafy green vegetables. Spend the next half an hour finding a recipe that accounts for all five of these things. You probably won’t. Settle for a soy fish dish. Make way too much. You might have some for dinner as well. You can never have too much brain power.

“[Ingredients (4 serves)
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup reduced salt soy sauce
2cm piece of ginger, peeled, grated
1 teaspoon sesame oil
8 small white fish fillets
Baby Asian salad greens]”

You will realize that you don’t have any of these things in the house. It is very important to you that you have this meal so that you can focus on your essay more effectively. Have a shower so that you can leave the house with your head held high. Write a list of what you need. Add other items you might need.
- honey
- soy sauce
- ginger
- sesame oil
- fish
- leafy greens
- berries
- milk
- bread
- apples
- 2 minute noodles
- OJ
- toothpaste
- deodorant
- tissues
- cheese
- frozen beans

Go to the local shopping centre. You remember that in fact there’s a shopping mall that is a little bit cheaper not too much further away. It is definitely in your interests to go there instead. You catch sight of yourself in the rear view mirror of the car. You definitely need a haircut. Besides, a fresh new haircut might give you a different perspective on your essay and make it easier to think. Book a time with the hairdresser. They have a space open in an hour. That should be enough time to do your shopping. Consult the shopping list. Better get some bananas and oranges as well. You’ve done it in record time. You are a great grocery shopper. Still half an hour before the haircut. That’s enough time to get a quick lunch. Delicious. Oh, you bought all those ingredients for nothing. Never mind. You can make it for dinner instead. That will probably work better anyway. It’ll give you time to get onto that essay before then.

Your new haircut looks great. Just duck into the supermarket again to get some hairspray to keep it looking good. While you are at the shopping mall you should probably go and buy a pair of shorts. Summer is on its way and you don’t want to be left behind. Now it’s time to go home and make some progress with that essay. Make yourself a cup of tea. It will relax you and get you in the mood for writing. While you’re in the kitchen you might as well prepare that dinner you went to all that trouble for.

“[1. Combine honey, soy, ginger and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until marinade comes to the boil. Set aside to cool. Pour marinade into a ceramic dish.
2. Add fish to cooled marinade. Turn to coat. Cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat a chargrill or barbecue on medium heat. Remove fish from marinade, reserving marinade. Cook fish, brushing with marinade, for 3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Place onto plates. Serve with Asian salad greens.]”
Now is the point at which you’ll remember you don’t really like fish. You feel like you’ve been focusing on food too much today. It’s time to exercise.

Phase Four: A healthy body leads to a healthy mind; you’ve heard that somewhere so it must be right. Bring your audio time machine with you. It will help you stay motivated while you exercise. Push ups. Your arms probably hurt now. Try some sit ups. Your stomach should hurt now. The goal of exercising is to make as many things hurt as possible. Once everything aches you are now ready to go for a run. Running on concrete or bitumen will jar your knees. Walk to a park, no matter how far away. Run around the park until you can’t drag one leg in front of the other or until you feel self conscious. The latter is far more likely. By the time you drag your aching body home you are likely very thirsty and tired. After drinking more water than you can hold you will feel bloated. Continue straight to phase five.

Phase Five: Nap.

Phase Six: Wake up. Stress about how little of your assignment you have actually done. Make another cup of tea. Stressing never helped anyone with anything. Find something to unwind with. Run a bath. Enjoy your bath. Bubbles improve the relaxing quality of your bath. The album you are up to in your audio time machine doesn’t help you relax. Punk rock is not relaxing. Get out of the bath. Change into some fresh clothes. That will help you feel better about yourself. Try the shorts that you bought earlier. They don’t really suit you the way you thought they did in the shop. Tell yourself it doesn’t matter because you’re not really much of a shorts person anyway. Continue to stress about your shorts. At least you’re not stressing about your assignment anymore. You remember your assignment and are now interchangeably stressing about two things. You need to get rid of this stress somehow. Watch TV. Pause the audio time machine. Alternatively, leave the music on and turn the volume on the TV off and make up your own stories about what’s happening on TV. The news is far too stressful. A man is being charged with murder. You might have an assignment to do but at least you’re not a killer… or dead. The news isn’t really helping you unwind right now. The Simpsons is a good show. Millions of people enjoy it every day. Bart’s teacher has handed him an F. The Simpsons isn’t as good as it used to be. It’s getting a bit too close to home. Turn the music back on or up. The TV is switched off. Sing along to your music. That is making you feel a lot less stressed. You can’t believe you’re not famous yet.

Phase Seven: It’s dinner time. Luckily you made dinner earlier so that you don’t have to do it now.  This will give you more time to do your essay after dinner. You remember what you cooked. You once again remember that you don’t really like fish. You reminisce about what you could have bought with the money you wasted on your fishy dinner. Your cat appreciates the fish you cooked. You’ve wasted enough time, you need something quick and easy. Pasta is meant to be good for energy. You’ll need energy because you’ll probably be up all night doing your assignment. Spend half an hour on the internet looking for a recipe before realizing you don’t have the required ingredients anyway. Two minute noodles count as pasta in your mind. They will have to do.

Phase Eight: You are now completely prepared to do your assignment. Right after you’ve put on this load of washing. Now, back at the computer. Stare at the screen. Go up and down what you’ve done of your assignment for a good twenty minutes. Fix a grammatical error. That should be a comma not a semi colon. You get a sense of déjà vu. You decide that was a solid effort and you should be rewarded with a short break.

Phase Nine: Facebook. Talk to your friends. Check your emails. Watch some videos on youtube. Look at hilarious videos. Rapists in Lincoln Park have never been funnier. Look up cats doing funny things. They’re adorable and hilarious at the same time. Search for interviews with your favourite celebrities. Johnny Depp is such a charming, clever guy. Pete Doherty doesn’t seem like he’s on crack anymore. He’s a really smart guy when he’s not an addict. Good for him. Zooey Deschanel is adorable and such a talented actress. She should get more roles in Hollywood. Her sister is in that show ‘Bones’, maybe she’s just more of a TV actress. Check your emails again. Three new emails. Online casino. No thank you. Special offer on Microwave DIY chip maker and slicer, free postage and handling. No thank you.  Enter a competition to win $5,000. Well, OK, I guess that couldn’t hurt. Enter your details. You will be sent more unwanted emails in future. You are pretty tired now. It has been a big day.

Phase Ten: Sleep.

Phase Eleven: Wake up in the morning. Stress about how little you’ve done of your assignment. Console yourself that you only lose a few percent for every day that it’s late anyway. You’ll get it in eventually. Fill in more of your procrastination program. Fill the last step in later.

Phase Twelve: … 

Posted by Tom_Dawson on 10/26 at 11:09 AM | Permalink
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