5 Levels of Procrastination from Most to Least Productive

Admit it, we all procrastinate at one point or another. My roommate and I were discussing this the other day (while we probably should have been working on homework), and we discovered there are different levels to procrastination Sometimes you want to convince yourself you’re being productive while not actually doing the thing you’re supposed to do, and sometimes you outright ignore it.


Level 1: Doing something equally productive



This is rare, but it is one extreme level of procrastination. This would be if you were to write an essay to avoid working on a project. You feel very strongly about not working on that project, even if you have to put yourself through all the planning and editing of a ten page paper.


Level 2: Doing small tasks that you’ve been avoiding



Should you have cleaned your room a week ago? Paid your friend back? Gone through your 600 emails? Now suddenly seems like the perfect time. Yes, you probably should do these small tasks, but you know you’re really avoiding that project and just trying to feel productive.


Level 3: Spontaneously starting a new creative idea



This is the best idea you’ve ever had and you just need to complete it...right now! The most brilliant idea for a painting, story, drawing, or any other creative activity has come to you and you trick yourself into believing it’s much more important than that silly project. You’ll feel so productive and accomplished when you finish the newest Van Gogh painting at 2 A.M, but realize what you really needed to get done is still leering over at you.


Level 4: Going through social media, gaming, watching TV



Okay, you admit it—you’re procrastinating. Scrolling through social media absentmindedly seems like the only option where you’re not doing anything but you feel like you’re doing something. That and replaying a video or computer game over and over can feel never ending. You’ll never get to what you really need to do, and you’re stuck in a state of boredom. You wouldn’t be bored if you did that thing you need to do (but you can’t admit that to yourself)!


Level 5: Staring blankly at a wall while you try to force your brain to do something



This is the lowest level you can reach. You can’t bring yourself to lift a pencil let alone prepare a presentation. You know if you start some creative project or a new series on Netflix, you’ll get sucked into it and you just can’t let that happen. You want to finally work on what you’ve needed to do all along but somehow you just...can’t. All you can do is stare at a wall or lay on the floor, desperate for this suffering to end.

How do you deal with procrastinating—or beat it? Eventually you’re going to have to face whatever task you were avoiding. Be as productive as you can be while procrastinating, but don’t wait too long!


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