Top 5 Weirdo Things I’ve Done While Procrastinating

Autostraddle 5th B'day_Cats plus changes_Rory Midhani_640px (1)
We’re celebrating Autostraddle’s Fifth Birthday all month long by publishing a bunch of Top Fives. This is one of them!


I am a skilled procrastinator. In college, my go to method of paper-writing was spending the day the paper was due in the library holed up with around four Red Bulls and my laptop. From there, I would spend four to five hours messing around on the internet until the panic really started to set in, and from there I would write some sort of outline and churn something out with minutes to spare. This pattern continued into my professional life, where I would avoid doing the work I needed to do until it was absolutely not an option to continue to procrastinate, and bled into my whole life where I procrastinate everything.

last-minute-panic

While I can’t recommend this method as a proper way to function in the world, the time I spent avoiding my actual work sometimes produced hilarious or gainful outcomes, including the following top 5 instances of superb procrastination:

5. Intense Television Marathons

Including, but not limited to:

4. Reached Level 21 on Dragonvale

My park may be organized, but my life's a fucking wreck.

My park may be organized, but my life’s a fucking wreck.

3. Read A LOT of Fan Fiction

Like, a lot.

2. Sent Facebook Messages to My Ex-Girlfriend’s Ex-Girlfriends Apologizing for Ever Being Mean to Them

I wish I was kidding.

1. Applied to be an Autostraddle Intern

Also known as the most beautiful thing I ever did while procrastinating.


Header Image by Rory Midhani

Feature Image via Natalie Dee

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Chelsey is a previous Editorial Assistant for Autostraddle and currently resides in Los Angeles with her cat Olive and a large collection of cardigans. She enjoys drinking coffee/tea, writing, editing, and validating the humans in her life.

Chelsey has written 52 articles for us.

50 Comments

  1. Currently procrastinating on the truly unrealistic amount of spring break grading/ comment writing/ planning I optimistically thought would not be a big deal spread over two weeks. I was wrong. So, aptly timed article is aptly timed.

  2. My two favourite procrastination memories are the one time I decided to attempt to learn the names of all of the moons in the solar system to get out of doing an English Lit essay (never managed it) and then the one time I took an entire week out of filling out job applications to train myself to sing Barenaked Ladies’ One Week at double speed (years later and I can still do it)

  3. I used to blog weekly about all the things I did when I should have been writing. I am a master procrastinator and can relate to your list – except the ex thing. That’s a dicey thing right there.

    I once sat down to write and hear a bunch of crows being freaky outside my window and then spent the afternoon “researching” weird facts about crows. The upside? I know a lot about crows.

  4. Is it a bad sign that I recognized all the tv shows you listed are available on Netflix?

    The weirdest procrastination technique I’ve ever used probably has to be embroidery. I also started painting watercolors, but I’m actually pretty proud of those.

  5. 1. Drawn on Eugene Levy eyebrows
    2. Learned the Single Ladies dance from youtube videos
    3. Organized my spotify playlists by genre and subgenre, and then gave all the playlists clever names that make me and only me chuckle
    4. Organized my closet into a rainbow (I wish that had lasted…)
    5. Shotgunned a whole season of 30 rock in one sitting

    I don’t know what this says about me

  6. When I REALLY don’t want to write a paper I get super productive on other things so I don’t feel too useless.

    Like today, I did my entire family’s laundry, did meal prep for the week, cleaned the bathroom and organized the pantry. The house is in order but I don’t even have a cover page.

  7. This is my way of life in grad school. The worst thing is that my habit is enabled because this last minute bullshit HAS NEVER FAILED ME. I wrote my entire MA thesis in 2 1/2 months while I was moving halfway across the country, and I *still* finished before most of my cohort. And over Christmas break, I wrote two 20-page papers in 5 days and got A’s on both of them.

    What, I have 6 weeks to do each comprehensive exam? Sounds like every other method of writing papers, I got this.

    • AH ! 😀 I did the exact same thing : I wrote my second MA thesis in about 2 months WHILE working full time and being 8 months pregnant with my second child… Still got a ‘Very good’ evaluation, and ended up with an overall grade of 3.94/4.3 for this Linguistics MA.

      Now, as a freelance literary translator (which means that my deadlines imply sending out entire novels, ie thousands of pages), I cry blood and shake and panic during the last few weeks before my client expect my translation, swear never to do it again, doubt myself and the quality of my work, but… nah, it still works, and it works really well, nonetheless. How are we supposed to shake this frowned upon habit off, then, when it allows us to have that much fun without costing us little more than a bit of manageable stress, heh ? 😉

    • I am SO HAPPY to know that other people practice the same awful things I do, and for the same reasons! Every time I’m pulling an all-nighter I think NEVER AGAIN but then there are never any consequences for procrastinating so I’ve never ever learned and probably will never stop! I’ve gotten too good at it. I am an expert procrastinator and I haaaate it.

      • Actually, Samantha – and this is only from my very own little experience, but it might be worth investigating for you, as well – I actually realized there are incredibly valuable and positive consequences to my procrastination. I know I make a few mistakes(again : I’m a translator) when I work under that kind of pressure I put myself under, mistakes I can indeed easily spot and correct when I try to be more reasonable and take more time to complete my work. But I also have very impulsive strokes of near genius that largely compensate for those little mistakes, and that I tend to doubt, over think and over work when I try too much. I really don’t want to sound counceited, what I really mean is that I very clearly access really useful and competent areas of my mental abilities when I wait until the last minute, whereas I still have to find a way to make use of these hidden talents without this inexorable pressure (I’ve learned that trying to articially replicate the conditions doesn’t seem to work…)

        Silver lining. 🙂

    • ME TOO. I thought I would have to get my ass in gear in college; nope! Pulled all-nighters and was still happy with my grades. Thought I would surely grow up and plan ahead when I was teaching English in France… Nope! Lesson plans at midnight and photocopies 5 minutes before class, and my students did fine. Now I’m in nursing school and procrastination still works for me, even though I wish it didn’t.

      • Oh man, I’m only in high school and this is already me. Its the last day before spring break tomorrow and I’m writing an essay I’ve known about for weeks and probably won’t study for my test until the ride to school tomorrow. Its concerning that I don’t think I’ll grow out of this, but at least everyone here seems to be successful while procrastinating…

  8. It’s great to see that I am not alone. I have written 20 page papers in less than eight hours. I just finished writing a paper where I had to design of course which included 4 units and 16 lessons. I started at 10PM and ended at 5:30AM. I shouldn’t be proud of that…right?

  9. So, I haven’t read this yet, but the first thing I thought was, if masturbating isn’t on this list then I just don’t know. But then again, since urban dictionary calls procrasturbating a word, maybe that isn’t such a weirdo thing. More thoughts to come post-read.

  10. I feel like a professional procrastinator. If I don’t have the pressure of a deadline breathing down my neck, it’s like pffff why even start?

    I like to procrastinate by doing a hundred small insignificant tasks that are in no way necessary to maintain the illusion of productivity. Then when I have no choice but to get to work on what I need to do I decide it’s better to go to bed and start fresh the next day. Somehow everything always works out?

  11. I’m currently in that “last-minute panic mood”. Nope, the essay that I’ve had two weeks to write and is due tomorrow still isn’t coming to me. If it was, I wouldn’t be continuing to procrastinate on Autostraddle.

  12. So I am a chronic procrastinator… but I work in a job where I really can’t be (the deadlines are way too tight for that shit) and I’ve had to learn to be, like, a responsible adult or something. It’s weird.

    I say that, but at the same time I’m supposed to be working on a personal essay right now but then I remembered this exists and then I fell into a hole for like an hour…

  13. I procrastidrink, it’s a simple equation really:

    amount of time spent panicking on the amount of work not done instead of actually doing = amount of drinks consumed.

    Things I also did while procrastinating
    – clean my room
    – rearrange my furniture (including the living room)
    – watch the grudge trilogy
    – tried to invent a new language
    – cried
    – cried
    – cried

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