The Two Types of Procrastination

… is an ugly word.

However, it can be useful. Usually, when I procrastinate with a book or movies or something, I realize that I’ve been doing something wrong, and that I need this break, so I relax and just let it take me where it will, until I ride it out.

However, there are two kinds of procrastination:

A) “Useful” procrastination: When you don’t want to do what’s on your to-do list, but you know what else you want to do. This is the good kind of procrastination, in my opinion. When you really do need a break, and beating yourself up about not working is… pointless. And hurtful. And mean to your poor, hard-working self. (There is, however, a subset to this type of procrastination: project-based (wherein you discover a beautiful new project to do– akin to starting a new NaNovel on November 20th because you’ve gotten ‘bored’ of the old one), and relaxation-based (wherein you just want to watch this movie, or read this book). Project-based procrastination is semi-bad. Relaxation-based is great, as long as you don’t take it too far.

B) “Bad” procrastination: When you don’t want to do what’s on your to-do list, and you don’t know what else to do. To clarify. You don’t want to work, and you’re looking for things to procrastinate with.

On Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday, I had Type A Procrastination.

But today, and for the last part of Wednesday, I had Type B. Now, Type A procrastination, in my opinion, is quite useful. Even if it doesn’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything, I’m accomplishing something.

Type B, however… this is when you have nothing to do on the internet and yet you go on FaceBook to scroll down your news feed a billion times to see what’s been happening. When you try to figure out why Twitter is so addictive (and fail miserably). When you try to figure out if watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. gag reels is fun enough to merit finding them. When you wonder… (briefly), if it’s worth it to try to get addicted to Doctor Who. (<- I’ve never quite reached this pinnacle.)

I’m stuck in Type B. And, as usual when I’m stuck in Type B, the only way to get out is to get working.

Because, apparently, one should have steps when offering help, here are a few steps.

  1. Figure out if you’ve got Type A or B procrastination. If it’s Type A, figure out if it’s project-based or relaxation-based. If it’s a project, set that aside. Use it as the reward for finishing your work. If it’s relaxation, then set a limit (finish this movie, then back to work. Read this book, back to work.) If it’s Type B, keep reading.
  2. Summon up your vast reserves of willpower. Have a cookie, then get to work. There is, unfortunately, no other way to get out. Momentum breeds motivation.

How am I following these steps?

  • I’m a Type B procrastinator right now.
  • I’m writing this blog post to work up the vast energy reserves I need to finish my Egyptian blog post. And after that, I’m going to realize that it’s the perfect time to start reading through Perfume and take notes.

How are you following these steps?

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2 responses

  1. I feel terrible whenever I have any type of procrastination but I just can’t stop myself sometimes. I’m a fan of focusing on one thing and getting it done, then moving on to the next thing. So when I can’t do that, I feel like I’ve failed? Does that make sense?

    I AM ESPECIALLY NOT FOND OF TYPE B PROCRASTINATION. Very very very un-fond. (which should be a word, by the way.)

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