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: How to Get Through Airport Security

It’s no secret that TSA officers are the least qualified people to do their jobs. Thus, it takes a special kind of witchcraft to be able to get through their security hoops. But I’ve got it down to a science, so fear not—here’s how you make it through airport security.

1. Pray to the gods of TSA Pre√

Pre√ is like Nutella—Heaven sent. It means you get to keep your shoes on, your laptops in your bags,  you get to skip the line of losers who didn’t make the cut—the world is your oyster with Pre√. Unfortunately, it’s up to a random iPad to assign it (I think there are also other ways you can get it permanently, like if you travel often enough, or pay a fee or some bullshit like when you get to use the HOV lane without carpooling as long as you buy a transponder), so your prayers may only be as effective as those who pray to end gun violence.

2. Do whatever the fuck you want with your liquids of 3-oz. or less

Unfortunately the equal to or less than 3-oz. rule is still in effect, but I’ve found that it is no longer necessary to fit all 3-oz. or less liquids into a quart-sized plastic bag. How did I learn this? By just ceasing to follow the quart-sized plastic bag rule a couple years ago, and getting away with it every time, with no mention of protest by any TSA dipshit agent.

3. Request the metal detector instead of the full-body scanner

Maybe because you don’t want your organs to be zapped by x-rays, or for the security agents to be able to see right through you, or you just want to fuck with them. But insist, for whatever reason you make up, that they let you go through the metal detector, and see how flustered they get. It will be sufficiently amusing. Please note: this may/probably will entail a pat down. During which, you come on to the person patting you down. Male or female—it doesn’t matter. Turn the tables on them—they get to molest you? You get to sexually harass them, verbally. Some suggested lines to use on them:

•”Oh boy, I haven’t been touched like that since last night. When I touched myself. But I much prefer this. Keep going, please. Almost there..” [of course escalate your volume and heavy breathing as the sentence progresses]

•”Are you single? Because I’m visiting my family and they’re going to be severely disappointed that I haven’t found a mate yet. How do you feel about kids? Which holidays are you required to spend with your family? What are your thoughts on buying a home? Jenn or Angelina? Miranda or Gwen? Bernie or Hillary?”

•”Where would I even hide a bomb? You, on the other hand—is that an explosive device in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”

4. Use a tray for every item you have

Even Kanye has to do it. #thereisaGod

Nothing pisses them off more than when you put everything you have in individual trays. Your shoes go in one, your laptop goes in another, your coat in a third, your purse in a fourth, your roller bag jams into a fifth, and so on. And insist on waiting to proceed until you’ve watched each and every one of your trays go a safe distance onto the conveyor belt. If they urge you forward, insisting you abandon your trays, tell them you don’t trust them not to steal something out of one of your bags while it’s still stuck on the metal rolly things, before it gets on the belt, and while you’re waiting in line to be violated. This will piss them off even more, and then you’ll say, “Why are you so upset? You know, people usually don’t react so adversely to criticism unless it touches on some insecurity in them. So, what I’m getting from this interaction is that you, yourself, don’t trust that you won’t steal one of my valuables,  and you simultaneously hate and get some elicit pleasure from that aspect of your personality. Did I get it right? Hmm? What do you have to hide, Fred??”

5. Pack embarrassing things at the top of your carry-on

I’m talking hemorrhoid wipes, XS condoms, underwear that says “#squadgoals,” and a self-help book entitled Coping with Everyone Else’s Inferiority. So that when they pull your bag aside to search it by hand, you can make unwavering, confident eye contact with them as little bits of their soul die off, one by one, for each personal item of yours they grope. Feel free to narrate each item as they pull it out, too, for added effect.

6. Wear shoes that are easy to take off

All kidding aside, having to untie elaborate laces or pull off knee-high boots is just not what we want to be spending our time doing, so I say strap on those Uggs and get it over with. MAKE SURE to wear socks. We don’t need to be contracting any foot fungi from the thousands of disgusting people we are forced to accompany through the same carpet space. To balance out the unfairness of the shoe game, wear a hoodie with nothing under it. Then, when they insist you take it off, you’ll get to flash everyone, and when they freak out about it, you’ll get to say, “Well you told me to take it off—I’m getting mixed signals here. I’m just following the rules you told me, Fred. It seems like you’re the one who’s lacking an understanding of the proper procedures here, Fred, not me. Fred, if I may be so bold, how did you get your job? Did you have to do any training at all, or were you simply let in because you have a proclivity for blindly following orders without so much as a thought to question what you’re taught, like, for example, a Nazi would’ve done?”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/guide-getting-airport-security-quickly-humanly-possible/

As Featured on News Cult: Are We Supposed to Tip for These Things? I Don’t Get It

There are certain things we all know we’re supposed to tip for, at least in the U.S. Unless you’re a total dick. Like wait staff at restaurants, valets, and mani-pedis, to name a few. But there’s a whole host of other things that I have no idea if we’re supposed to tip for. Maybe I’m just an idiot, which is a strong possibility, but I’m confused about tipping etiquette for the below situations.

Knife sharpening 

Like, when you take your one nice kitchen knife (which is a start give us a break adulthood is hard and expensive plus it serves a double purpose as a cooking utensil AND weapon) to Williams-Sonoma, are you supposed to tip the guy who sharpens it? Especially because knowing us, it’s going to need a lot of sharpening, if it’s even salvageable from all of our non-/improper use.  

Car service
 
Like when you go in for an oil change, or to have your tires rotated, or a multi-point inspection… Literally no clue if you’re supposed to tip. And I feel like this is one of those situations where if you’re not supposed to tip, it’s insulting if you do, so you really have to get it right. This is why I just awkwardly linger when I pick up my car and try to read any social cues that may point me toward an answer. Which usually gets me approximately nowhere except a solid minute or so of uncomfortable eye contact between me and an unfortunate mechanic. But, hey, I’ll take it–it’s the most intimacy I’m gonna get probably ever. 
 
Bike service
 
Same as with cars–when you take your bike in for a tune up (which like who actually does that but whatever), do you tip? And bike people are so intimidatingly hip, so this is 1000x worse than cars. With their tight-by-choice jeans vs. our just increasingly-getting-tighter jeans, and their aggressive beards, and their keys on their carabiners–like, we get it, you’re so tragically uncool you’re cool again.
 
Crossing guards
 
Say what you will, but if you jaywalk, a crossing guard is out of a job. If that isn’t tip-worthy, I’m not sure what is.
 
Pet grooming
 
And like what if they make your pet look like shit? Which is impossible for some of our pets because they’re glorious beautiful mythical creatures from magical lands and are better looking than Helen of Troy. But still. Or what if they have to squeeze the anal glands? Isn’t that like a guilt-tip situation?
 
Gastroenterologist
 
A colonoscopy strikes me as perhaps the task most deserving of a tip, right?
 
Hotel Maid
 
It’s sups awk when you’re in the room as they’re cleaning it and you’re like ahhh I don’t know if I’m supposed to tip her should I tip her how much should I tip her and should I just hand it to her or should I leave it in an envelope or like aren’t I supposed to leave it like under the pillow but how can I do that if she’s standing right there I knew I should’ve followed my therapist’s instructions and gotten out of bed and gone outside this morning or alternatively, I should’ve never gotten out of bed and just put the “do not disturb” sign up which frankly sounds like a better plan so suck on that, mental health professionals.

Featured on News Cult:

Dress Codes: Let’s Discuss

Right out of the gate I’m going to tell you I deplore dress codes. People say religion is the opiate of the masses (which I also agree with, but I guess that’s for another post), but I think that’s really what dress codes are.

https://ionehellobeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/4.gif?w=500

Barring cases where a uniform makes sense—i.e. a preschool field trip where the teacher has to identify if a pedophile is running away with one of her students, so she has them all wear neon yellow t-shirts (which frankly just draw more attention to them, when if they want to avoid child molesters, they should probably fly under the radar because otherwise they’re kind of asking for it)—I don’t understand dress codes. Who decided that a hoodie = lazy/casual and a blazer = driven/professional?

Personally, I’m a fan of what I like to call the “zero fucks given” dress code, which basically puts comfort above all other considerations. This means you can usually find me in clothing that I can expand into—sweatpants, leggings, sweaters, cotton anything, baggy anything, loose t-shirts, etc—regardless of the occasion. Like I’ll wear stretch pants and a maternity ‘blouse’ to your wedding, flip flops to a club, jeans to a funeral—I don’t care. I just can’t be bothered to dress a certain way because someone else thinks it’s necessary or appropriate or validates me as a person to be taken seriously. Not to mention most clothing that’s deemed “fancy” is super uncomfortable—I don’t want to be stuck in a dress made of some starchy fabric that I’m going to have to butter my way out of (but replace the dress with some bread and I’m good to go), try to squeeze into panty hose like a sausage bursting out of its casing, or waddle around clumsily in high heels. No thanks.

But this seems to not work for a lot of people. They look at me weird when I wear spandex to a dinner party or gym pants to work (because of course I’m not going to the gym, so they have to be worn somewhere). Why is it so unacceptable for me to clothe my body however I want to? I don’t judge them for wearing hideously pretentious bow-ties, shoes that cost enough money to feed a small country, or monogrammed polo shirts with their crisply pressed khakis embroidered with navy blue anchors that I wish were real anchors because then I could push them off a bridge and they’d sink to the bottom. Or when they force their kids to go to a private school where they have to wear skirts hemmed to an exact length probably just so the principal can get off on his naughty school girl fantasy without being sent to jail for it. Or when they wear tragic pantsuits to their sad 9-5’s or out to their ‘ladies lunches’ with a bunch of friends who wouldn’t tell them if they had poppy seeds stuck in their teeth because anything to get ahead, right?

baby

Why can’t we all just express our individuality freely? And furthermore, not be punished for it? Like, fine, if you want to pretend your life has more meaning because you’re wearing a silk gown hand sewn by Chinese child slaves, then go for it. But don’t not let me into your establishment just because I’m wearing pajama pants that can totally pass for real pants regardless of what section they were sold in at Target. Because unless we all want to end up in a homogenized society like a little something called Nazi Germany, we really need to just get over it and focus on things that are far more important than dress codes—like what we’re going to eat, when we’re going to eat it, and where, and then what/when/where we’re going to eat after that.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/dress-codes-lets-discuss/