Let me take this moment to acknowledge your ability to ignore the passing of time as deadlines knock down your door and begin devouring your dogs. Your staunch ability to isolate and pursue distractions in a world where you have so many real problems is thoroughly admirable.
Unfortunately, procrastination is not valued in our society. It is labeled as a “problem” that you need to “solve” before your life becomes “one heaping pile of unnecessary social media posts and youtube links”. That’s one way to think about it, and many outsiders do just that. But we’re here to discuss ways to covertly pursue procrastination. While the seconds of Wasted Time pile up for you, no one else will notice.
Here’s how to procrastinate at work without anybody noticing:
1. When asking an off-topic, tangent-hooking question, preface it with “Not to procrastinate but…”
Then, you are totally off the hook! The ears that receive this introduction will automatically categorize the subsequent sentence as On Task, so you’re good to jump from the plane and open your procrastination parachute. It’s the same logic that governs the phrase “No offence, but…” when you need to say something really rude, but still want to be perceived as an all-around nice gal.
2. Acquire a Procrastination Cloak.
Whenever you’re feeling the need to tread the waters of time, throw on this little number and indulge yourself. You can’t always pull this move because the cloak makes you entirely invisible. The Procrastination Cloak is actually indistinguishable from an invisibility cloak, and people might start to ask questions if you literally disappear every Friday before the form-stacks are due to the box-place.
3. Ask existential questions when people get wise to your schemes.
If people start to get the picture that you will berate them with a list of philosophical queries, such as “Who are we? What is the point of money? Where have all the good knives in the kitchen gone—I swear I just replaced three last month?” then they might avoid contact with you indefinitely. This permits you the freedom to procrastinate at will. Careful though! I’ve found that sometimes the thrill of getting caught makes procrastination more alluring. Find your balance with this one.
4. Snitch on other procrastinating offenders.
Essentially, police other co-workers or friends. Catch them with their hands in the procrastination jar, and take a photo or video for extortion purposes. Offer them a sweet deal: you’ll keep the photos quiet, if they promise to always look the other way if they catch you in a similar situation. This is a foolproof plan, but you must be swift with a camera phone and have a stern tone of voice to convincingly push a blackmail offer.
5. If someone catches you procrastinating red-handed, exclaim, “I’m so embarrassed that you know an intimate detail about my artistic process! Now I must reveal to you the mysteries of my mind-labyrinth. Neither of us can un-know what I am about to say, and hopefully that will teach you to never interrupt me again without knocking.”
After this, the person may rush out in a wave of shame, or stay to hear your secret. Be quick on your feet and nimble enough to connect a Youtube video of a cursing parrot to whatever job you were supposed to be accomplishing.
6. Claim the Niche Hobby Clause if someone catches you in a procrastination zone.
Laugh, flutter your flirt-lids, and say, “Oh my goodness! You’re right. I shouldn’t be pursuing a well-rounded self while I’m at work. See, I have a hobby of curating hilarious memes from the internet, and I have a sizable following for my work. I apologize for experiencing joy in the workplace. I will avoid that in the future, I promise. I mean, I know you don’t take extensive coffee breaks to trim the twigs of your fleet of Bonsai trees.”
7. Seek help for yourself—it sounds like you’re willing to engage in some weird sh*t to avoid getting paid to do your job.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself questions like “What drives my desire to avoid work to the point where I could be fired or just be in deep crap in general?” Clearly, a larger issue hides beneath your actions: unhappiness with self? job? relationships? regrets about wasted youth? Most likely, you won’t have to dig super deep to uncover the root of this foolishness.