To everybody but me, my life right now looks like lazy. However, in actual fact, I’m quite busy — engaging in that age-old tradition — Avoidance Behaviour. As any practicing procrastinator will tell you, Avoidance Behaviour is an essential part of getting anything done. It’s all the dickin’ around you do between the time you decide on a task and the night before the deadline. However, Avoidance Behaviour is not simply wasting time there are three very important standards which govern the practice.
1 — Avoidance Behaviour must not be connected in any way to the task at hand. For example, if your task is building a garden shed, you should first clean out the refrigerator, or organize the silverware, or in extreme cases, pull everything out from underneath the kitchen sink, see what’s been hiding there, sort it and then put it all back for another time when you have more time to deal with it.
2 — The best Avoidance Behaviour is useless stuff that nobody in their right mind would ever think of doing. Alphabetizing all those CDs you’ve got left over from the 80s is an incredible piece of Avoidance Behaviour. Colour coding your closet is another one or searching Social Media for that bitch from high school (what’s-her-name?) who ran the Yearbook and put the dorky picture of you picking your nose under “Student Activities.” (Wait a minute — I’ve done that.) Anyway, to further clarify, here are some excellent examples of Avoidance Behaviour:
Watching old Brendan Fraser movies.
Surfing YouTube for that 70s song that goes “Da, da, da, da, dum, dee, dum, dum, something, something, dee, dee, dum.”
Making a list of all the members of the Legion of Super Heroes– with their corresponding powers — just in case you might need it someday.
Driving across town for that particular pastrami sandwich you remember from university. (This works especially well if, once you get there, you discover the deli closed 12 years ago and is now a Yoga Centre.)
3 — Avoidance Behaviour is time sensitive. To get the most benefit out of Avoidance Behaviour, it should begin immediately after you’ve got a rough idea of what you going to do, continue (off and on) throughout the rest of the process, and end in a frenzy the day before the deadline, preferably in the late afternoon. This produces the maximum amount of panic which, in turn, releases the optimal amount of adrenaline, Norepinephine and Cortisol — all needed to complete any task in the nick of time.
So for all those people who think I will never get my book of short stories published — think again. The only problem I have is that, when you’re doing nothing, you kinda never really know when you’re done.