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Busy doing nothing….the art of procrastination

The irony of writing a blog about wasting time isn’t lost don’t worry. But come on, 3 years (and the rest) of independent study? Surely you get a PhD for actually stopping wasting time and writing something?
Anyway given I’ve spent the last few weeks marking procrastination has been my best friend, but I’ve come to realise there are good and bad kinds. So here is my list of the worst/best/ most/least productive ways to waste time (until you really have to do something) Don’t judge me. You’ve done worse in the name of wasting time…
The Worst/least productive.
Ok these are the things that are the biggest waste of your time, the least useful (but ironically perhaps not the most embarrassing)

  1.       Reading trashy websites The Daily Mail/E online/Ok!/Hello/delete for trashy website of choice. Double points taken away for the Daily Mail are you are feeding the spawn of Satan. Looking at a reality TV star’s cellulite or reading about Jennifer Anniston’s love life will not enhance your life in any way, it might actually kill brain cells. However if in the case of reading The Daily Mail, the resultant pictures of underwear models (female) annoys your office mates (both male and particularly female) you gain some points back.
  2.    Organising your sock drawer. You do not need to reassess your sock index. You did that yesterday. Nobody has touched it since (you haven’t left the house, therefore haven’t worn socks)
  3.    Checking Facebook It’s like going to the fridge when you’re bored. Nothing has changed. There’s still nothing interesting. This also applies to ‘Facebook stalking’ your ex/that bitch from High School/your students.  There is nothing of interest there. And if there is you probably didn’t need to know and will spend too much time thinking about it.
  4.   Using Expedia to check flight prices  You’re a PhD student. You can’t afford it. Two hours later the price is the same and you still can’t afford it.
  5.    Talking to cold callers  I don’t care if a conservatory is more interesting than your work you live in a flat. Hang up the phone.
  6.   Tumblr Is the thief of all time. If you aren’t an artist or a total geek boy/girl you wont know what this is. Good-you may stand a chance of finishing your PhD while I will still be staring at animated gifs of Benedict Cumberbatch in various guises and being traumatised by pornographic Doctor Who fan art.

Productive Procrastination

  1.  Cleaning. It means you move from your computer. It also means you don’t live in a pigsty for the duration of your work. Win-win.
  2.    Exercise  It means you wont melt into a pile of gooey flesh by the time you finish, it also most of the time involves leaving the house. Both of which are positive.
  3.  Singing. More accurately learning repertoire for choir. If I didn’t do it while wasting time it’d never get done. It engages my brain in a good way and also gets me away from the computer. Also belting out a few top notes really clears the cobwebs.
  4.  Coffee with friends Yes you can lose a whole afternoon, but sometimes you need to.
  5.   Reading  Reading anything that isn’t work related. Whatever it is you must enjoy it, however ‘uncool’ however ‘lowbrow’ or even if it is ‘highbrow’ it’s an escape. So if you escape to Shakespeare or Proust or Harry Potter or Jilly Cooper. If it lets you escape for half an hour read it.  The only exception is Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey. Both like the Daily Mail will rot your brain (I do however approve of reading for fan-fiction fellow geeks, trashy  or otherwise)
  6.  Writing again something, anything not related to the work. If that’s dragging out an old novel or play you’ve been meaning to write or *ahem* the previously mentioned fan fiction. Lets just say weeks have gone by I’ve written more play than thesis and at regular intervals I attempt to expand the Sherlock Holmes canon in ways Conan Doyle never imagined. (NOT that kind you filthy people, I didn't write 50 Shades of Sherlock…. not yet anyway)
  1. So  that’s what I do, for better or worse to waste time. So of it productive, some less so….but whatever keeps you sane. And if all this fails there’s always writing a blog….. 


  1. Why can't I quit Tumblr, Emily. Why. :( All it does is hoover up my precious hours, draining the life from my body and replacing all my thoughts with fangirl squee. It's not right! It's not natural! Yet I am powerless to stop!

  2. I know Anna I know! But there is so much to fangirl squee over, I am also powerless to stop. There must be some way...perhaps Tumblr's anonymous?


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