Monday, January 14, 2019


Something strange happened this past weekend.
I procrastinated.
Knowingly and willingly.

I used to be a hardcore procrastinator, but at some point, I changed. Someone asked me around a year ago if I could do a video on how I was able to stop procrastinating. I thought about it but couldn't come up with any helpful tips. All I knew was that I needed to get things done ASAP, because any other course of action caused me to feel a lot of anxiety. It didn't feel good to procrastinate.

Now that I have more time, I've been trying to live more in the present moment. I want to do the things I want to do when I want to do them, and I'm trying not to feel stressed about the future. The final deadline for my work project is tomorrow, but I've never missed a deadline, and I trusted myself to meet this one. So I did what I wanted when I wanted on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday--essentially leaving the bulk of the work for today. Amazingly, it felt good.

That experience got me thinking about how I typically procrastinate:

1) Doing something I've been "meaning to do for ages." Suddenly, I want to organize all my makeup or film a decluttering video or do swatches of all my nail polishes or clean out my closet.

2) Coming up with an idea for something out of the blue. My personality is such that, when I think of something, I must do it or look into it immediately. This is great because I don't tend to procrastinate on my shiny new ideas; however, it's not great when I get one of my "brilliant ideas" right before a more pressing deadline, which is what usually happens.

3) Browsing online for things to buy. This could include physical items (e.g., makeup, clothing, handbags, home goods) or experiences (e.g., shows, restaurants, travel).

4) Consuming media that serves no purpose.

The last two types of procrastination are the worst for me. Besides serving no purpose, they also make me feel like crap. However, I feel more than okay about the first two types of procrastination--in fact, I welcome them. They make me feel inspired and efficient and happy. I categorize these as productive procrastination, which fuels me and gets my energy up.

With this realization, I decided it would be a good idea after all to categorize everything I do these days:

PRODUCTIVE: activities that have some sort of tangible output or outcome
LEISURE: activities I truly enjoy doing or that inspire me
OTHER: activities I indulge in that either aren't good for me or don't inspire me

As you can see by the above image, there are overlaps between PRODUCTIVE and LEISURE activities. Sometimes I read a book for pure enjoyment (e.g., the Harry Potter or Hunger Games series), but sometimes I read a book for both enjoyment and learning purposes (e.g., 10% Happier).

Likewise, there are overlaps between LEISURE and OTHER activities; for example, I played this colouring game for ages before I eventually got sick of it. I enjoyed it because it was relaxing, but I felt like it could be bad for my eyes and that it was a bit of a waste of time.

Fortunately, I spend very little time in the OTHER category these days. I don't get the urge to indulge in these activities very often, and when I do slip up, I can usually recognize that it's happening and interrupt myself. What I'm trying to do is gradually shift all my time into the PRODUCTIVE and LEISURE categories, and I think I'm nearly there. If I had to ballpark it, I'd say I spend around 90-95% of my time in the two leftmost circles. Interestingly, the percentage is very close to the amount of time last Wednesday that I spent doing hyggelig things.

Oh, and that project I was working on? I'm happy to report I finished hours ago! And it didn't take much time after all.

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