How to: procrastinate spectacularly By @poppy_scarlett
By Poppy Cumming-Spain
How to: procrastinate spectacularly
This has been a pretty amazing year for me. So much has happened, in almost all cases for the better, and I now find myself in a either a period of reinvention or rediscovery (i’m not quite sure). I think we’d all admit that sometimes life can be predictable, but I can honestly say that if you’d asked me what my 2017 story was going to look like, I would have never predicted the series of events which was about to unfold. I now find myself able to do what I want to do and be who I want to be, which may not seem like such a luxury to you but it means a great deal to me. The final chapter of this story, before I begin a new story at SCA, was this summer; and I decided early on this year that it was being to be my best yet.
And so, whilst I have spent this summer preparing for SCA by working through the reading list, working on my passion project, writing SCABS and studying Adobe, I have also been participating in what I’d call some ‘positive procrastination’ with the aim of filling mind, body and summer with good things.
This was slightly spurred on by a few SCABs I read from last year’s intake. One penguin explained that she had almost cancelled going to the races to work on her entry for the Dan Wallace scholarship competition, but instead decided to continue with her plans. This, in turn, gave her inspiration for her entry and she ended up winning! The other discovered that she was stunting her creativity by keeping herself cooped up working on briefs, and that by allowing herself to go out and enjoy the world around her a little, she actually came back energized and inspired.
What does ‘positive procrastination’ look like? I hear you ask. Well, for me it looks something like this:
- Working full time, almost exclusively on Google Analytics, counting down the days till my life isn’t all about data, trying to tuck some money away for the year ahead and continuing to work on my ‘people skills’
- Escaping a Cluequest room with my team and becoming reigning champions at the Guardian (note: we won 1/1 times and one of my colleagues is now addicted to them)
- Taking trips to Ibiza, Berlin and the Greek Islands (I told you it would be my best yet)
- Attending an exhibition on the beauty of being British Asian and, as a consequence, doing my best to work on my understanding of different cultures
- Spending quality time with my family, including my Great Aunt who is in a care home
- Frequenting a number of pubs, bars and clubs with colleague and friends (including an unexpected, eventful night out with a fellow SCA-er) and nursing some horrendous hangovers
- Seeing the Book of Mormon and Touch the play (they were both AMAZING by the way)
- Continuing my reign as Ebay queen and making some excellent (but totally unnecessary) bargain purchases
- Widening my (or realising my lack of) general knowledge at a couple of pub quizzes
- Moving into a new home in East Dulwich
- Working on 6 layout design options for my new room (none were to scale or possible in reality)
- Staying up till 2am on Ikea working on making those designs a reality (my dad really enjoyed putting it all together whilst I ‘supervised’)
- Making £26 at a car boot sale in Pimlico (hopefully I’ll do better at the next one)
- Attending ‘Anchor Woman’ by Viv Groskop at the Freud Museum – perhaps some early research for stand up lessons?
- Attending Polly Nor’s excellent exhibition (wish I could have bought a few of her prints)
- Getting my tragus pierced, and booking in a tattoo
- Putting on a party for my mum who ‘didn’t want a fuss’, including baking a Victoria sponge with enough cream inside and out to give my entire family a heart attack (I am not a baker and fortunately my family all survived the delicious experience)
- Reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances
- Helping a friend through a sudden breakup
- Spending time with elderly people (passion project spoiler)
- Probably making this list and then daydreaming about my wonderful summer…
And you know what; I have (almost) no regrets. Each and every extra experience I’ve packed into my summer has helped me to understand a little more about myself and the people and world around me. There’s no better experience than life experience, right? At least that’s what I took from Dave Birss’ book ‘A User Guide to the Creative Mind’.
I’m also acutely aware that there will be almost no time for procrastinating once 12th September comes around (it is now a mere 6 days away). We’re all going to have to hit the ground running, so I guess you could say I’m getting all the procrastination out of my system? At the very least (this is what I told myself when I was working on my passion project video in the early hours) I’ve definitely been working on my multitasking skills. But now it’s time to buckle up, get prepared, and let’s be honest… positively procrastinate some more.