Saturday, 10 October 2009

Bradley's foolproof 10-step procrastination method

Want to get some writing done? Frustrated at your current overly-productive rate of activity? Gurn no longer! I can help you, with my tried-and-tested, guaranteed foolproof low-yield ten-step procrastination method.

Following my advice, any newcomer to the writing game can easily fritter whole days away in the pursuit of less fulfilling activities that produce no writing output whatsoever (unless you count commenting on somebody else's Facebook status updates).

For the purposes of following the method, you need to be at your desk and ready to begin by 09.00. Follow the points step by step, and don't miss any out. It won't work otherwise. Ready? Let's get started!

1. It is still too early to start writing. There is too much else to do in and around and out of the house. Begin by writing a list. Spend no shorter than half an hour writing this list, and include absolutely everything on it, from the physical ("paint the outside of the house") to the metaphysical and / or spiritual ("What is the meaning of life?")

To improve of the efficacy of point 1 as a timewasting activity, you may wish to embark on some of the tasks named thereon. Ensure that you do not complete fully any of these tasks, as completing any sort of task could be considered productive, and is thereby contrary to the spirit of the ten-step procrastination method.

2. To engage brain and to warm up into the writing activity, open three tabs on your browser window: one to Facebook, another to web-based email, and a third to the talk-board or forum of your choice. Spend at least one hour providing ill-informed advice to strangers on the internet and commenting on your friends' status updates. Oh look, are those pictures of Tom's wedding? 256 pictures of people you hardly know! This is procrastination gold. By the time you have looked at them all, there will be more status updates, and more strangers seeking advice. You have already spent up to an hour and a half at your desk, and not a single minute of it spent in the task of writing. Keep up the good work!

3. Jeez, nearly lunchtime. It's time for a well-deserved break, to have a root through the fridge, and to watch a bit of Come Dine With Me off the Freeview Plus box. You can't write on an empty stomach, and in any case, Come Dine With Me counts as research on account of the human drama and the interaction of all those different characters. Also worth watching to get some ideas for lunch.

4. That's enough time-wasting. Seriously now, get back to work. Maybe it would be useful to spend a bit of time updating the old internet 'shop window'. Update blog, spend a bit of time browsing Red Room. (careful now. Overdo it and you might be in danger of doing something useful).

5. This computer is filthy. Clean screen, get desktop vacuum out, vac out keyboard and inside mouse. Carpet and coffee table also need vacuuming. May as well do those since have vacuum out. Look for other opportunities for housework. A clean environment is more conducive to productivity.

6. Still haven't got anything done. Can't fix mind to writing somehow. Seems like very hard work today. Maybe I could concentrate better if I did a bit of exercise?

7. Go for a walk or bike ride, or put on latest Girls Aloud album and dance around the living room. Close curtains if the neighbours are home.

8. If plan has been correctly followed, it will now be around 3 (possibly after) and partner's arrival home from work will be imminent. You have not yet written one single solitary word other than "lol" or "fail". These barely count as English. Allow feeling of destitution and disappointment to gather over you for a few minutes.

9. Time to knuckle down. Straight after this cup of tea.

10. Congratulations, you are a successful (?!) graduate of Bradley's foolproof ten-step procrastination method....

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