Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Things I would rather be doing than writing an essay

I have a problem. A serious problem. I am a prolific procrastinator. I know that most people like to procrastinate (please, if someone reading this DOESN’T like to procrastinate, give me tips on how to get over this. I’m begging you!), but I think this goes beyond most people.

Give me an academic deadline, and I’ll leave to the last day. Apparently I work so much better under pressure that my brain is physically incapable of writing an essay before the day before the deadline. Most other things I can get done before time, unless there’s no deadline in which case I sometimes need a bit of prompting, but when it comes to essays I’m a mess. I enter into a spiral that goes something like this: no essay topic > self-hatred > desperately chose useless topic > more self-hatred > hate self/topic too much to research > more hatred > give up on essay and life and watch 90s television programmes on the internet.

Right now, I’m sitting at my bizarrely tidy (explanation later) desk, books open, Word document staring hopefully at me from the screen, and yet I can’t bring myself to actually do any work. Instead, I’m going to compile a list of things I’d rather be doing. Just because it’s better than doing this essay.

  1. Tidy my room. This from a girl whose childhood bedroom had paths cut through clothes/toys/books to get across the floor.
  2. Clean the kitchen/bathroom/stairs/windows. I'm not fussed about things being that clean. Dust? Shmust. It just keeps coming back. And yet, right now, my fingers are itching to use every single cleaning product we own on some part of the house.
  3. Plan every meal until the end of term. They say planning what you're going to eat for a week saves you money. You buy ingredients for specific things and don't end up throwing anything else. I've tried this and it doesn't work for me, I prefer to throw caution to the wind and chop a few things up, cook them in any way possible (acceptable/non-acceptable, whatever takes my fancy), and eat them. But right now I'm thinking that planning all meals until the end of term would be a good idea. Hello, roast duck, foie gras, crab and gourmet burgers... 
  4. Take out the recycling. We have a large plastic box in the kitchen that all recyclables get thrown into, which then has to be sorted through into separate types so that the bin men actually take it away. A tedious/revolting/mind-numbingly relentless job that right now is incredibly appealing.
  5. Write a reading plan. So that all my reading will be done on time. This never works, since the plan doesn't take into account hangovers, tiredness, and that Big Bang episode that I've seen five times but just HAVE to watch again. But I think I'll do it in case.
  6. Iron my t shirts  I hate ironing with a passion: I once spent twenty minutes ironing a shirt, twenty minutes of my life I'll never get back. I don't actually need to look put-together everyday. But I think I'll iron anyway. It'll make me feel more collected, clever and professional when I come to writing my essay.
Reading the meters, doing the washing up, sorting out the tangle of shoes that is the bottom of my wardrobe, organising my dresses into colour order, and working out how to adjust our heating (the thermostat/timer is the work of the devil) also comes to mind. But I don't want to distract you from your work.

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