As Featured on News Cult: How to Not Procrastinate

Umm…. I don’t know how to not procrastinate since I do it all the time. It’s weird—if I don’t feel pressure to meet a deadline, I don’t feel satisfied once I’ve done it. So procrastination is kind of the only way for me to feel a sense of accomplishment. And being able to use the time you spend putting something off on stuff you enjoy doing is nice too. Like, sure, I could work on my taxes piecemeal throughout the year, but I’d rather spend my time doing other things, so why not devote just a couple nights right before April 15 to devolving into psychosis, instead of the entire year?

But I guess I can see the point—if you don’t procrastinate, you might not actually devolve into psychosis. Yeah, you’ll have to dedicate smaller increments of your free time upfront to something, but in the end, you’ll save time and your sanity. So maybe it’s worth a shot. Here are some ideas for how to not procrastinate.

push the deadline up

Give yourself a tighter deadline than is actually necessary, so you’ll still feel the pressure that it takes to motivate you to get something done, but you’ll get it done early. This is essentially still procrastinating, but in, like, a meta way… Forced procrastination to avoid real procrastination. #reversepsychologizingourselvestothefinishline

Take yourself to the dark place

The place of utter despair and panic you go to when you’re scrambling to get something done. Force yourself to sit in that mental space for 20 minutes, which should be enough to scare you out of ever going there again. It’s easy to forget how terrible the procrastination-induced rush to get something done is when you’ve had time and space away to block it from your memory, but when you’re deep in the throes of it, it’s bad. Like, Amanda Bynes, bad. So if you can remind yourself of that, you’ll save yourself a lot of agony and bad body piercing decisions.

reward yourself

For not procrastinating. Because, like dogs, we will do something with enthusiasm and vigor if we get a treat for it. In other words, like Hillary Clinton, we can be bought. Vow to get a massage after you finish your big work presentation one whole day before it’s due (MIND.BLOWING!). Or tell yourself you can’t go get a cup of coffee until you respond to that email in a timely manner (don’t FUCK with our coffee). Or allow yourself one hour of Instagram-trolling for every task you successfully complete ahead of schedule. #whateverittakes

PACK YOUR SCHEDULE

So that it’s virtually impossible for you to procrastinate. If you do, your whole world will fall apart (I mean like what else is new but still). #nothinglikesettingyourselfupforfailure

make a schedule

I hate myself so much for saying this, but maybe (emphasis on MAYBE) it’s worth making a schedule so that you can plan how to feasibly get things done without waiting until the last minute? I’m not saying we all need to start using white boards with color-coordinated sticky note systems and become mini-van driving, pastel- and khaki-wearing, bowl-cut sporting freaks. But just like plot a course for yourself. We’re basically Magellan. Or Christopher Columbus. Minus the raping and pillaging. #notrapingandnotpillagingourselvestothefinishline

be realistic

If you know you’re going to procrastinate on something, don’t take it on in the first place. Yes, some things are unavoidable and require time management (another phrase that makes me want to vom), but you also can choose to pursue things or not (or, if you’re a millionaire, you just choose not to do the required things like taxes anyways. #1%doesn’tgiveaFUCK). And given our propensity for laziness and procrastination, it’s probably best to avoid committing to as many elective things as possible. Some may see this technique as defeatist, but I’m just being real. Like, are we going to actually read the books when we join a book club and be prepared to participate in the discussions? No. We’re just joining for the free food. So cut the book club and find your complimentary refreshments elsewhere, somewhere you’ll fit in with your dysfunction and lack of self-control. Like an AA meeting. #thoseareyourbrethren

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/how-to-not-procrastinate/

As Featured on News Cult: A How-To Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is cleaning on fleek. It’s not just your regular dusting, vacuuming, washing and scrubbing. It’s a complete overhaul of your home and life, both physically and spiritually. It’s a time to reassess and decide what you no longer want or need. And there are ways of doing it that streamline the process so that you get the most out of it. So here’s your how-to guide for spring cleaning.

Go into it from a minimalist perspective

The goal is to get rid of a lot of shit. We all have too much stuff, and there’s no need to live like that. It takes a literal and figurative load off when you toss unnecessary material items. So be prepared to just PURGE.

Set standards

For how you decide what to get rid of. I think that if you haven’t used something in the last year, that should be the main criteria. Then, things that are too worn, broken, or otherwise obviously can’t/won’t be used should go next. Otherwise, go with your gut—as you scan your belongings, if you don’t have a strong feeling or justification for wanting to keep something, or it just pulls at you or gives you weird vibes for whatever reason, decide to get rid of it.

Leave no stone unturned

Go through your entire home—every closet, under every bed, the attic, every cupboard, every storage bin—and pull out things to get rid of, using the above guidelines.

Make categories

For how you’re going to get rid of things. Usually, these are along the lines of throw away/recycle, donate/give away, or sell. This will help you feel more productive, and not like you’re just wasting everything by throwing it in the trash. If you’re super anal and your spirit animal is the label maker organized, you can make cute, color-coded labels for your categories.

Do the trashing/recycling first

Get it out of the way. Throw away or recycle (if possible) everything you want to get rid of that isn’t nice enough to donate, give away, or sell. **Please note** Your neighbors will apparently go through your trash so don’t throw anything away you aren’t prepared to see on the front page of the newspaper.

Then move on to the donating/giving away

Choose a charity or cause that you’ve vetted and you’re passionate about, and donate everything you possibly can to it (and as many others as you’d like). The best part of this is that you are doing good, (unless you’re a Republican, and then the best part for you is that you get a tax write off). Don’t be an asshole and donate shitty stuff—only donate gently used or new things (or follow the rules of the place you’re donating to, if it has them).

Another option is to give away things to your friends, family, neighbors, or anyone else you think could benefit from or would appreciate them. If you have stuff you’ve bought that’s brand new and you ‘ve never used, you can also repurpose it as gifts. I know that etiquette people are going to jump down my throat for this one, but why waste more money/resources if you already have something that would make an appropriate gift? Plus, it’s handy to keep a “gift drawer” at home that’s stocked with some nice little gifts anyways, in case you come upon a last minute need for one (read: when you’re a shitty friend/guest and don’t think ahead).

Or, you could throw a swap meet, where you and a  group of friends get together and bring items you’ve decided to get rid of that you can trade each other for. This is just a way to make spring cleaning more fun—make a party out of it (read: any excuse for alcohol)! And so that it doesn’t completely defeat the purpose of decluttering, you could make a rule that for each item you trade, you have to donate another. At the end, you can all make a drunken visit to your local Good Will or another organization and drop off your donations together.

Any of these ‘give away’ options will make you feel better about the incredible amount of money you’ve wasted buying things over the years. #noregrets #YOLO #HAGS 

Then sell

I’m not well-versed in the selling used items thing, but I know that some people are successful doing it. If you’re strapped for cash, see if a consignment or vintage store will take any of your clothes (although I’ve heard a lot of them are pretty snooty and don’t take even genuinely nice stuff—like, you’re a used clothing store, you’re already out of elitism’s reach… GTF over yourself). Or see if you can sell stuff online (I’ve had some success with selling college textbooks on Amazon). If you live near the endangered species known as bookstores and record stores, try selling your books/CDs/DVDs/albums there. Or get a booth at a flea market. I also just tried using thredUP, and while I just sent in my first bag so can’t make a super definitive personal value judgment yet, from what I can tell, they’re a good service—I especially like that they recycle items that people send them but they can’t sell (read: the offensively unstylish P’s OS you send in that no one, not even a naked redhead stranded on a beach at high noon, would wear).

Avoid keeping things at all cost

If you’re like me, you have hoarder instincts, which lead you to hold onto things for no reason. You even hold onto sentimental items that make you feel bad, like cards from old boyfriends, jeans that no longer fit, or other reminders of how you’ve failed at life that you’re fooling yourself into believing are somehow motivational to you in a positive way. But why keep stuff around that makes you feel bad or that otherwise serves no purpose (which then just makes you feel bad anyway because it’s proof of your wastefulness)? I mean, I know we’re not as bad as refusing to get rid of our baby’s dirty diapers or collecting every toothpick we’ve ever used, but still, holding onto anything that is in any way excessive or useless just doesn’t make sense. So just let it go. In other words, rather than confront your demons, just get rid of them. #denial #ifpantsaretootightandthey’renotintheclosettohauntyou,aretheyreallytootight?

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/guide-spring-cleaning/

As Featured on News Cult: My New Year’s Resolutions

Because I like to think ahead (NOT) and make a list of New Year’s resolutions each year (NOT) that I believe in following through on (NOT), I thought I would compile an early list here. But for real, I fucking hate New Year’s resolutions and people who make them. Because ambition is pointless. Because life is meaningless. And we’re all going to end up dead anyways so reaching your stupid goals doesn’t ultimately get you anywhere. With that said, here’s my answer to the useless sociocultural tradition of making resolutions that you promise to follow through on come every Jan. 1.

1. To never make a list of New Year’s resolutions ever again

Whoaa, things just got meta. But seriously–attn., goal makers: STFU. This is the list to end all lists.

2. To never look in a mirror again

It’s easier to pretend I don’t look like a chubby, homeless meth and/or crack addict if I can’t see it.

3. To cut the number of fucks I give down to −infinity

4. To eat a Philly cheesesteak

I still, in all my 26 years, have never eaten one. Howwwww?!?

5. To exact revenge on at least fifteen people on my blacklist

It’s rapidly growing–that’s like only 1/6 of the whole thing, so I really need to start knocking ’em out (potentially literally–methods of vengeance TBD).

6. To talk about how Selena Gomez is almost singlehandedly ruining feminism

I’ll take any forum available. I mean, her lyrics… “Gonna wear that dress you like, skin-tight, do my hair up real, real nice, ’cause I just wanna look good for you. Let me show you how proud I am to be yours…”

7. To actually stay organized for tax purposes

Ok but really though. We all know what a pain taxes are to do and how much being organized, much to my dismay, truly helps.

8. To figure out how Justin Timberlake’s hair circa *NSYNC was ever ok

9. To go to Hooters and only order water

In order to make a statement about how the entire conceit of Hooters is, simply and undeniably, the hypersexualized commodification of women; once there ceases to be an exchange of money for body, the whole thing falls apart. Plus I just think it would be fun to see how they react.

10. To tell my OBGYN what I really think of her

I just think her bedside manner could stand to use some improvement. I mean, I’m not asking you to throw a party down there, but maybe just be a little more approachable during conversation while you’re all up inside of me.

11. To start drinking boxed wine

On the reg. Like just fuckin’ straight from the spigot. I just feel like that’s the direction my life is headed, you know? So I may as well settle  in.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/?p=73064

As Featured on News Cult: My Bucket List

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Let’s face it: we’re dying. Moment by moment. We’re on a slow, painful march towards death. But none of us live like that. We live like our best days are ahead–it’s only going to get better–we have infinite time to accomplish our goals and live our dreams. We’re immortal.

WAKE UP PEOPLE. You could literally die in one second. What if you find out you have terminal cancer? Would you be satisfied with how you’ve lived? Have you done everything you’ve wanted? NO YOU HAVE NOT. So get your shit together, and make a bucket list. And then make a point of ACTUALLY crossing things off it– “making/checking off a bucket list” should not be on your bucket list.

Mine is below if you need inspiration. Some of these things I’ve accomplished already, some I still have to go. I’ll leave it up to your imagination to guess which is which. Here’s what I hope to do before I die. And if I die before I do, the burden is on all of you to finish it for me. NO PRESSURE DON’T FUCK IT UP IDIOTS.

1. Invite a Jehovah’s Witness in when they knock on my door and engage in a thoughtful debate with them about the existence of God and the merits of Christianity.

2. Eat deep fried ice cream.

I just don’t understand HOW they fry it without melting it??!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Date a guy who’s not a complete loser. #it’sasurprisinglydifficultfeat

4. Skydive.

*This should probably be last on my list in case it kills me. #thinkingahead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Tell that one cashier at Best Buy what I really think of her–that she’s a soulless, bitter killjoy and every time she utters a word a MILLION angels die.

6. Impeach The Patriarchy

7. Travel any- and everywhere.

8. Understand “The Cloud”

9. Never accumulate excessive wealth.

10. Win a game of The Settlers of Catan against my dbag cousin who thinks he’s omniscient but is really just a scourge upon humanity.

11. Have clear skin.

12. Write a book.

13. Recite Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” in its entirety at someone’s funeral.

 

The End. It’s short but to the point.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/?p=56193