Make Procrastination Pay: How to Build Your Business While Goofing Off

by Lela Davidson 

Making your own hours – it’s the beauty and peril of freelancing.  The idea of doing what you want when you want is seductive.  But does it really work that way?  Of course not!  You do what you want for a while until all your deadlines pile up on you and you need to work at – in my case – finger cramping speed.  This is the reality of freelancing and other entrepreneurial pursuits. 

On those days you feel like doing anything at all, why not put your natural inclination to slack off to good use?  Here are some great ways to procrastinate that, while not actual work, are somewhat productive anyway.

Indulge Your Someday List
If you don’t know about the David Allen style Someday List, it’s simple.  You have a list somewhere of all the things that you’d like to do someday, maybe.  Any time something occurs to you, add it to the list.  Productive procrastination comes in when you consult your list and start to research whatever appeals to you at the moment.  You never know what brilliant idea you may happen upon.

Pat Yourself on the Back
Make a list of accomplishments.  Looking over your achievements will cheer you up when you’re down, develop your writing skills, and come in handy when you need to submit a resume or proposal.  Plus, the confidence you encourage by honoring your work will make you even more successful.

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Keeping up with old friends and business associates is an important part of your success.  Pop off a few emails, pick up the phone, or dink around on Classmates or LinkedIn.  The written note is becoming a lost art.  Keep some fun card in your drawer and surprise someone with an actual post office delivered message.  They will remember you.

Browse & Organize
Trolling around the web is not a complete waste of time.  Trust me on this one.  I found a whole new livelihood while wasting time reading and commenting on websites that caught my eye.  Messing around with your favorites, feeds, and bookmarks is another great way to save time by procrastinating.  Organize now, save time later when you’re browsing.

After that, get back to work!  Or you’ll find yourself working for someone else, and then there goes all your free procrastination time.