Not Getting Things Done: Organizing Your Procrastination

My picture nameGreetings all, Steve here. Well, I've had a revelation about myself. Doug and the Monkeys (which would be an awesome name for a band) have been furiously nitpicking... sorry, "adjusting" all the templates for D*I*Y Planner Verion 3 in an attempt to bring it to the organisationally deprived masses (sound of cheers across the intersmut and Doug collapsing on his computer monitor). Doug's been constantly asking the Version 3 Team for suggestions and then immediately regretting it, as the Monkeys have an unbelievable number of suggestions. Really. I don't believe it. Everything from content, to legal waivers to template resizing, the Monkeys are in there suggesting things. It's quite amazing, really, the amount of work the Monkeys have put in on this project, but I think there's one thing they forgot, something that I believe is critical, not only to our working lives, but to our overall well-being: Organizing Our Procrastination.

You see, this has been my revelation. I have always been a big fan of procrastination, but I've always procrastinated in a rather haphazard way. I've never really organized my procrastination, instead opting for an ad-hoc procrastination methodology, i.e., just sort of collapsing when I didn't feel like working anymore. The problem with this approach is that you don't usually maximize your procrastination effort. In other words, you're not working, but you're not really doing anything else either. What's the point of procrastinating if you're just going to sit there aimlessly surfing the Internet or trying to think up ways to motivate yourself? Let's face it, if you're going to procrastinate, you should make the most of it. Don't just sit there and think, "I should really be doing work." I say, nay! --do work or don't, but don't just sit there and feel bad about not doing anything productive. Embrace your procrastination and actively do nothing, that's my new motto. I call my new approach NGTD or Not Getting Things Done.

The heart of the Not Getting Things Done approach is to accept when work just isn't going to happen. If you're tired, grumpy or otherwise just don't feel like doing work and the standard pick-me-ups of coffee, chocolate or visualizing duct-taping your bosses mouth shut and then setting up a slip and slide in his office aren't working, you may need to face the inevitable: nothing's getting done today. I have become a big fan of this approach lately... which is why most of my articles have been late. (Including this one... see, my approach works!) [*grumble grumble* -DJ]

Once you've accepted that work isn't going to happen, the next step to Not Getting Things Done is to choose the activity which will best make use of your procrastination time. As long as you're not getting work done, you might as well make the most of your time. I suggest writing down various fun activities when they occur to you throughout the week, and then selecting one when work seems impossible. Of course, the activities will vary greatly from person to person, depending on personal inclination and sanity level, but these are a few suggestions (feel free to come up with your own):

  • If you work from home, practice receiving the Rinse and Repeat Award in the shower ("I'd like to thank the academy...")
  • Practice your best Clint Eastwood impression in the mirror ("You feel lucky, punk?")
  • Pickup Greco-Roman wrestling in the lunchroom
  • Group day-dreaming
  • Fantasize about what you'll do when you win the lottery
  • Make up new lyrics to old Chinese Kung fu movies to make them a debate about the Missile Defense Shield ("My brother, the Dyslexic Dragon, and I fundamentally disagree with your strategic initiative!")
  • Contemplate the fact that if you aggressively gargle with your head back while looking in the mirror, you kind of look like a giant fish with a petuitary disorder
  • Make up new lyrics to country or blues songs to make them about Cold War Spy stories ("Oh, ma girlfriend lef me, ma house burned to the ground, I divulged the location of the secret microfilm and ma dog ran awaaaaaaay [repeat chorus]")

As you can see, the Not Getting Things Done system is almost infinitely malleable and can be adjusted to suit your individual needs. Although D*I*Y Planner Version 3 doesn't have a dedicated Not Getting Things Done template to organize your procrastination (or so I'm told, despite my earnest suggestions), I believe the Matrix would work quite well. An added bonus to using your planner to organize your Not Getting Things Done is that, to anyone more than a few feet away, it looks like you're actually doing work. Organizational Innovation: it's what we do, people.

So, until next time, keep your pen on the page and your funtime well organized.

Free Wayne Gretzky!

Steve Sharam
For anyone interested in more of my potent insights, including my thoughts on being organized, check out my blog at

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I think this approch has potential. Think of the wars, riots, disagreable arguments, boring assignemnts one could avoid with a properily organixed procrastination plan. Clearly it is all about orqanization. But what do you do if a procractination moment happens spontaniously?
Henry Sharam

Deal with it intuitively, of

Deal with it intuitively, of course.


Groan {rim shot}

Steve Sharam