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The Lost Art of Procrastinating

Updated on December 10, 2011

Placing top priority on otherwise useless things is truly a lost art. Who needs busy schedules and lists bogging them down when the world is full of so very many wonderful distractions? I personally manage to spend several hours a day honing my procrastination skills, often waiting until the last minute or until someone is at their boiling point before completing a chore or task. Even something as simple as reading that day's email goes unchecked until well after the dinner hour. Here are some of the more fun things I do to help me procrastinate until time to face the things I'd rather not be doing.

Mental Floss

It's "where knowledge junkies get their fix" and that certainly applies to me. They even have an article about how to learn things while procrastinating. Personally, I don't like to learn new things nearly as much as I just like to know new things. Yes, there is a vast difference between the two terms. Learning something implies that you will retain the knowledge for later use. Just knowing about it means you'll probably forget, which will allow you to at some future point go back and know about it all over again. Mental Floss isn't just a blog -- the website also offers quizzes, amazing facts (That really are amazing!) and a shop filled with wonderful items that appeal to everyone's inner nerd.

Stumble Upon

I love StumbleUpon-dot-com. Honestly, it satisfies so many things for me. When I'm bored, it's entertaining. When I'm sad, it cheers me up. When I have something pressing that needs to get done, it helps me procrastinate. Who doesn't like StumbleUpon? And with the new format, I can choose to stumble through a web of sites dedicated to just one topic, like puzzles or medieval history, or surf at random. For instance, I just spent a good half hour stumbling through sites with "procrastinating" as a keyword. It showed me everything from a post about procrastination remedies to a procrastinator's creed. One of the most fun things I've ever found while stumbling is a huge list of mythical creatures. You can bet we turned this into a home school science project, for sure.

Wikipedia

These guys live for procrastinators. Don't believe me? Then why do they have that handy-dandy random article button? In the past hour I've learned, among other things, about Odinsword, the fictional weapon Marvel comic books; the town of Simonstorp, Sweeden, which had 236 inhabitants in 2005; and bass worms, a garlic-scented, artificial fishing lure. Of course Wikipedia is useful in doing actual research, although sometimes its information should be taken with a grain of salt because -- ready for this? -- not all articles published there are true. Take for instance the controversial biography of John Seigenthaler Sr., assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the 1960's. As Mr. Seigenthaler warns in a USA Today article:

I have no idea whose sick mind conceived the false, malicious "biography" that appeared under my name for 132 days on Wikipedia, the popular, online, free encyclopedia whose authors are unknown and virtually untraceable. ... My "biography" was posted May 26. On May 29, one of Wales' volunteers "edited" it only by correcting the misspelling of the word "early." For four months, Wikipedia depicted me as a suspected assassin before Wales erased it from his website's history Oct. 5. The falsehoods remained on Answers.com and Reference.com for three more weeks.

Ouch. It makes me glad that there's no Wikipedia entry about me!

Positive Procrastination

Sometimes procrastination can be a good thing. For instance, while stumbling through the topic of "gaming" I ran across a cartoon that inspired me to write three separate articles for Iron Realms Entertainment. A random wikipedia article led me to the knowledge that my car is considered to be one of the ugliest cars to ever hit the American automobile market. And I have managed to stumble upon some really good recipes in my time. (Not that I'd ever cook them, given my terrible skills in the kitchen.) My point is, not all wasted time, is time wasted. I'd love to hear about your own adventures in procrastination in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

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