Here’s an excellent guide in the art of underachieving, for those who weren’t blessed with this skill naturally.

Wait until the ‘right’ time

This is one that gets everyone at some point. You know what you want to do. You’ve got it. And as soon as the conditions are right, you’ll be going so hard at this you’ll be unstoppable.

If you want to use this guaranteed method, it’s as easy as using the following sentence starters :

Oh yeah I’m going to start, I’m just waiting for…

I swear, I’m going to be really good at this, as soon as…

Talk a lot about it

There’s some debate over this one. On one hand, talking about things can make them ‘real’ and make you accountable to whoever you told it to. If you tell your friends “I’m starting a blog!” and then never post anything they’re probably going to ask you what’s happening at some point (Or they’ll completely forget you ever said it. Nevermind).

At the same time, talking about it can make you feel like you’re getting something done when you aren’t doing anything. You can get so caught up in the fantasy and the story you’re telling that you ignore the part where you actually do something. You’re more concerned with the identity of being an X than actually doing what an X does. So you’ll talk about it and pretend you know things when you really haven’t done anything.

I’m an aspiring writer

Cool, what kind of stuff do you write?

I’m going to start writing fiction, maybe young adult fiction since it seems like a fun genre.

Cool, but what have you already written?

Oh! Nothing yet. I’m studying different writers so I can get a better idea of the style for this genre.

(‘studying different writers’ = ‘stalking them on twitter’)

Get caught up in irrelevant details

This one takes some work on it’s own. The trick is to research and make a big deal out of every single minute detail of the goal you want to achieve.

Alright, so i’m going to go workout then drink my protein shake. Actually I should probably drink my protein shake then workout. Hmm...I don’t know anymore actually, I need to go check that online.

Google : “what’s better, drinking protein shake before or after workout?”

Well one guy says before, but another says after. Hmm, I don’t know…Actually I’ll hold off on this until I know for sure what to do. I’ll figure it all out by tomorrow.

You waste time thinking about details that make little difference to your overall goal. If your overall goal is to get buff, it is irrelevant right now if you drink your shake before or after. Just go to the gym. If your goal is to become a better writer, it doesn’t make a difference if you use WordPress or Ghost. It doesn’t make a difference if your theme ‘looks appealing enough’. Whatever detail you’re wasting your time on, it absolutely does not matter right now. Sure, there may come a time when your theme does matter because you have actual readers. But that day isn’t today, so stop being distracted.

Take a ‘break'

Before you actually do any work.

I’m going to start soon, just let me read this blog post. Ooh it’s about not getting stuff done, my favorite topic!

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These are my favourite ways to not get stuff done. What about you?