Here are 5 of the Most Productive Ways to Procrastinate at Home

As more people join the work-from-home bandwagon, they’re starting to see that remote work is not the beautiful rose garden they once thought it was. In fact, working from home is often more difficult than working in an office. It is too easy to go take a nap when work becomes frustrating or to find yourself on lunch for three hours. Next thing you know, it’s 10 PM and you have achieved a whole lot of nothing.

This happens even to the most experienced remote workers — including myself. However, I have found my own way to tackle the issue. I only have so many hours in a day and I keep strict deadlines, so I procrastinate by doing other productive things. Here are five of my favorite ways to productively waste time.

1. Getting My Steps In

A few weeks ago, I wrote How to Get That Workout in When the Gym Is Off LimitsElizabeth Slaughter then told me how about under-desk units you can buy to pedal while you work. It sounded like a great idea, but I have a Fitbit and want to get credit for my steps. So, instead, I bought this contraption:

It weighs less than 15 lbs pounds and stows away easily under my couch. When I tire of writing, I pull this out and catch up on my steps for the day. Sometimes I print the article for editing and use this while proofreading.

2. Cleaning the House

A week after COVID-19 changed our lives as we know it, I wrote about the precautions I take as a high-risk person. My mom might tell you this is only the tip of the iceberg. She is convinced that she’s sending me to a shrink after COVID-19 ends to have me evaluated for my obsession with cleaning.

However, the truth is, the cleanliness of my apartment generally correlates with how much I have procrastinated that day. That’s because, when I need a mental break from writing for banks, lawyers and medical facilities, I do any of the following things:

  • Disinfect the high-touch areas in the home.
  • Vacuum the tiny living room rug as it never stays clean.
  • Wash any dishes left in the sink.
  • Do the laundry.
  • Put things away.

3. Grooming the Cat

Shadow had his very first and only hairball a few weeks ago and I feel absolutely terrible about it. Cats get hairballs from grooming themselves, so if you groom them well, you eliminate the chances. Shadow was in full winter coat until recently and I didn’t restart his grooming schedule in time to save him.

Subsequently, grooming is now one of my favourite ways to procrastinate. Shadow loves attention, so he makes no complaints. This is a video from 2018, but you can see how excited he gets about groom days. Feel free to skip to the end to see how much fur I get off him!

4. Business Accounting

When I was in university, every year, I had straight A grades … and then, there was accounting. Funny enough, after I graduated, I went on to work in accounting. My day job before I quit to travel and write in 2015 was as a payroll tax analyst. During that time, 90% of my job was staring at spreadsheets and doing calculations. I was pretty good at it and took those skills into accounting for my own business.

I now do all my business’ accounting minus filing my own taxes. When I tire of working, I go balance the books. I find sometimes calculations are less mentally tiring than using up my creative energy. University-me would think 30-year-old me has lost her mind, but it’s the truth.

5. Getting On Twitter

Twitter is the number one way I waste time that I should spend working. However, as a lifestyle blogger, any time spent on social media is an investment in my own personal brand — or so I tell myself. I can objectively say, however, that the more time I spend on Twitter the more inclined people are to read my blog posts, share them and comment. My book sales are also higher.

Why is that? There are many authors and business people online who spend their entire time selling to other people. They forget that the point of social media is to be social. I tweet about so many other things that my books and business don’t provoke the eyeroll that other people’s promotional posts might.

When working from home, it’s a good idea to try to waste your time on things you need to get done anyway. That way, when you fall behind on work, you don’t fall behind on anything else.

What are some of the ways you waste time when working from home — productive or not? Share them with me in the comments below!

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30 thoughts on “Here are 5 of the Most Productive Ways to Procrastinate at Home

    1. I’m definitely cleaning more. I’m not a huge fan of Instagram. People don’t really seem to have meaningful conversations there, so I just pop in and out and head back to Twitter. 😅

  1. My home is my sanctuary, the place where I get to escape from home. However, at work, when I want to procrastinate, I will make lists: supplies I need my manager to order, ingredients I need her to order, things I need to chop up, things I need to round up to chop up…
    Lists are a good way to LOOK productive whilst NOT being productive😇

    1. Hahahahaha, lists are definitely a go to for me as well. I also did that when I still had the part time gig.

      I hope everything is going well for you!

      1. I’m bored to tears sometimes since the coronapocalypse has put everything on hold, but I’ll take it since it’s better than the zombie apocalypse😁

      2. Haha, lucky for me, I’m never bored. I’ve had more time for my hobbies lately though and that’s been good.

        And yes, much better than a zombie apocalypse, though let’s not assume we won’t have one just yet. 😅

      3. I have been reading more. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but I went some years without reading much. I’ve been buying book, checking out books, and digging through kindle unlimited for things to read. My focus has shifted towards more non-fiction lately, and that’s ok by me.

        And you make a good point. The zombie apocalypse may well be nigh. Sure looks that way in some of those protests against lockdowns🙄

      4. I typically read before bed, so that’s about the same. That Kindle Unlimited membership is a blessing. I also try to take no rush shipping whenever possible, so I can get the digital points to buy more books. 😅

        Georgia has reopened! Pretty sure the first zombies will be right here. My neighbour had a party a few days ago. I couldn’t believe it. Thought we had some sense here in the suburbs!

      5. White suburban women voted for the cheeto that currently occupies the White House. The zombie apocalypse started in 2016, they just have t eaten us yet

      6. Ha! You’re 100% right about that.

        My suburbs is a coloured community though and the family was Black. Guess it makes no difference in redneck Georgia. 🤷🏽

      7. I find it funny that anyone thinks they know more than medical doctors when it comes to these things. The best thing we can do is isolate, practice great hygiene and keep our bodies in good shape.

      8. I haven’t been doing the best job without the gym, but I have equipment at home to use for now.

  2. Lol even as an essential worker I’ve been finding myself with a bit of extra time and I have been cooking things I don’t even need. My fridge always has leftovers and I’ll cook food then end up warming up the leftovers instead because I don’t let food waste. That procrastination is very helpful though because that way I don’t have to try and figure out the new closing hours of the nearby restaurants or where is still open or still delivering food to the hospital.. plus it’s healthier and cheaper to make your own food. I’ve also been focusing on increasing my steps too. I tend to walk while watching family feud and vlogs on YouTube. I must say that contraption you got there to increase your steps looks interesting.

    1. The extra time is from our social lives being non-existent lol. I already cooked almost all my meals, but I used to eat out on Tuesdays after the gym. Now all my mails get made at home. Sometimes I’ll get a TV dinner if I want something different, like frozen pizza or frozen shrimp scampi. Cooking is definitely a very productive procrastination tool.

      As for the contraption, it’s not bad at all and the price is great. I paid about $62 for it and it was selling for around $58 today when I checked back. Highly recommend it if you can get your hands on one, especially if you’re eating up all that food. ☺️

  3. I’ve never had a paid job from home, but I remember spending the first year of my Masters degree trying to do my studies at home, and that didn’t go too well for me, so yeah it can be hard. I’m still not working from home now as my job is considered essential. As for ways to waste time at home, I can’t think of any ‘productive’ ways hehe, although I would play video games.

    Though it’s easier said than done, one needs to have a ‘work environment’ set up, when working from home. This could mean an office room which you only go there to do work, otherwise there is too many distractions.

    1. This is very true! I did a few online classes last year for fun and it was hard to remember to get stuff done.

      I have an office space set up for work only. However even the computer is a distraction. Something pops into my head, I stop to Google it and fall into a rabbit hole. Next thing I know, 2 hours have gone by! 😂

      I hope you’re still safe out there!

      1. Yeah I am still safe and well. Covid-19 cases have rapidly dropped in NZ so it seems like things are under control for the time being.

      2. That’s great! Can’t say the same here for America and of course I am stuck here in this idiot state. How idiotic?? We are the FIRST ones to reopen. The first. As of Friday. 🙄

      3. It has a third of the world’s entire cases and the death toll is roughly 50k. Georgia alone had 23k cases last I checked, 900 deaths and 5k hospitalizations. That was about 2 days ago.

        When I tell you what reason the governor gave, you won’t believe it. He said he knows the cases will spike but we have a lot of empty hospital bends in Georgia to handle it….

      4. I feel sorry for your country, I really do. You could have been in a much more fortunate position if action was taken much earlier, but instead your leaders must blame everyone else. Also the economy is more important than lives apparently.

      5. I take solace in knowing this isn’t the culture I was born into, so I can watch from the outskirts and shake my head. My family is still isolating. Georgia can open all it likes. We’ll be home.

  4. I’ll let you borrow to of my favorite quotes. “Anything worth doing, is worth doing later”, and, “anything worth doing is usually too hard”.

      1. I can even procrastinate procrastinating. I know how to bust ass, but I can lay in a hammock for days just as easily.

      2. Haha, one day I will have that life! For now, I must buss ass to afford it. 😂

  5. I saw a new cookbook written up in the New York Times a few days ago. “Procrastibaking.” Apparently a lot of people are taking breaks from working at home and baking. Probably to have lots of comfort food on hand. Love the little device you bought for walking without going anywhere.

    1. Hahaha! Maybe I should take that up! Lord knows I spend too much money on cookies and ice cream!

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