How many of us are guilty of mindlessly scrolling through social media? Yup, I’ll put my hand up! We can spend so much time scrolling through social media, and we don’t even realize how much it is embedded in our everyday routine. Zabby Allen of The Procrastination Paper mini zine has a lot to say on the subject of how not to waste time online and how we can procrastinate positively.
After installing a time tracking app on her phone, she was horrified to discover that the mindless scrolling amounted to over four hours a day! Imagine what you could do with that time! Zabby was adamant there were not enough hours in the day to get stuff done. Feeling strongly about this, after speaking to others and realizing it’s a widespread problem; the idea for the Procrastination Paper was born.
Constantly consuming content on social media is not good for the soul. The fact that most of the population own a smartphone means it is so easily accessible, literally at our fingertips. We are always connected to the point where we seem to have lost the feeling of being bored, which is an important part of allowing our brains to rest, to think, to dream. By cutting off from your phone, you can allow your brain to rest, and you will see an automatic increase in productivity. Have you noticed how refreshed you feel after a holiday? It’s the same thing in taking a break from our phones. It’s an important step in self-care, allowing time to process all the responsibilities on our plates and just breathe a little.
Another disadvantage of being constantly connected is that while scrolling through social media, there is the danger of falling into the comparison trap. Comparing ourselves to others can be damaging to our mental health in making us feel that we are not good enough. We might wonder why other people have it so good and when will we get our big break? Don’t forget, social media is always just the highlights. Most people don’t want to be vulnerable in sharing the bad and worry about how they will be perceived if they do. Plus the fact, when we look back, we want to remember the happy memories and forget the sad. The advantage of switching off from it can help us to keep our eyes on our own lane and not worry what other people are doing.
The Procrastination Paper’s Ethos as told by Zabby
The Procrastination Paper is a paper alternative to staring at your phone. We are, of course, all still going to procrastinate, it’s just a way of life, and I believe that procrastination can be positive too. The Procrastination Paper is designed to be a compact non-precious object that you can carry around with you and maybe even leave behind in public for somebody else (it’s A5, 28 pages and printed with eco-friendly inks on recycled paper). Most people look at their phone while on the bus or train on their commute to work. I am hoping to challenge that a bit and get the Procrastination Paper into the hands of as many people as possible, to give them something alternative to read or do. It contains articles, interactive boxes, games, and pull-out artwork, which I hope will spark creativity, change the reader’s way of thinking or ignite inspiration.
Zabby’s Top Tips For Procrastinating Offline
Image: Zabby Allen
– Go for a walk in your neighborhood without your phone (or keep it on flight mode) – look up at the tops of buildings or down at the ground, I bet you notice things you’ve never noticed before.
– Have a conversation. Ask a family member a question you’ve never asked them before and learn more about their life.
– Make something! Creating is good for the soul – whether it’s a cake, a drawing or a cocktail, getting messy and creative can help you in so many ways.
– Turn notifications off on your phone. It’s so easy to get sucked into the myth that we have to always be available and on call all the time. Of course, for some people this is true, but for most of us, nothing bad will happen if we don’t respond to a text or like our friend’s new Instagram picture within five minutes.
– Challenge yourself to not look at your phone for at least an hour when you first get up, even if it’s just for one day a week. See how much better you feel for it! I have replaced my phone-scrolling with reading and 10-20 minutes of yoga (most days… some days I still get sucked into Instagram Stories) and I feel so much more productive.
– Put some music on and dance around your living room! It’s a great way to get active and let your thoughts wander while enjoying some feel-good vibes of your favorite music.
– Sometimes our bodies get ill, and it’s a way of telling us to stop. Why not practice some preventative self-care and chill out with some of your favorite TV, the latest binge-worthy Netflix show or your favorite genre of film.
What will you do today to procrastinate positively?
The Procrastination Paper is a monthly subscription, costing £5 per month. It’s also available as a three-month gift subscription. Each issue has a theme – past themes are Screen Time; Creativity; Sleep; and Family. Future themes include Adventure; Activism and Food.