My friends back home assume that summer in Dubai means beach days, parties and long days by the pool. This couldn’t be further from the truth! With temperatures reaching 50 degrees I don’t think I have been out side for more that 10 minutes in the past month. And I am starting to go a little stir crazy. However, I have really been honing my procrastination skills.
Summer in the Middle East is pretty much the same as the depths of winter in Canada, unbearable. On stepping outside you initially think, “I can do this…”, “it’s not that hot…”, but within 5 minutes the sweat is running down your neck and you start to panic that you will die of heat exhaustion. Not the best feeling. You spend 3 months hopping from air conditioning to air conditioning, and the beach is a distant memory.
So here is my very short guide to procrastination!
Work your way through the Netflix documentary library
Netflix must be the downfall of many a freelance writer. There is so much content and it is far too easy to switch on one episode and 10 hours later find yourself covered in doritos’ dust, surrounded by empty teacups.
If you are looking for some guilt free procrastination (sort of) I recommend turning to the documentary section. You can kid yourself that you are in fact learning something. I recently tuned into Tickle, a bizarre story about the seedy underbelly of competitive tickling. Ok, this may not be the most highbrow documentary, however, it is fascinating! How can something that appears so innocent become completely twisted? The Imposter kept me on the edge of my seat, watching a man with clearly no conscience taking advantage of a family’s devastating loss…well until the twists in the story are revealed. Beautifully filmed and unraveled.
I realise these are not the most educational but they were super effective at helping me get through an afternoon of writer’s block!
Set up a tester Instagram site
I resisted Instagram for years; who on earth wants to scroll through hundreds of photos of other people’s lives and food photos. But when I started working, as a freelance writer I realised this was something I had to get onboard with. So I started my own Instagram account, I now have a paltry 105 followers and secretly do enjoy watching nail art videos!
But when I see people with over 1 million followers this does intrigue me, how do they appeal to such a large number of people? So I have started researching, downloading apps to improve my photo and video skills and joined analytics websites. Now I have a separate experimental Instagram page…no real progress yet but let’s see how it goes.
One slight problem, although started as a way to procrastinate throughout the summer I have come to realise that the summer in Dubai sucks for photos! Hazy, overcast days and it is far too hot to go outside. But who doesn’t love a challenge!
I particularly recommend checking out House of Social for tips about how to run a successful social media campaign.
Create stop motion videos
A few years ago my parents bought me an iPad 2, after playing all the games and experimenting with quirky photo apps, I stumbled upon a stop motion app. This allows you to create peculiar little videos, and spend hours planning, creating, filming and editing! An excellent procrastination tool, where the possibilities are endless. If you can draw then create your own characters, if you are creatively challenged then pick up a few sets of Lego and make it come to life!
Start a blog
I have a love/hate relationship with blogs (including my own), I sometimes worry I am just wasting Internet space. But I would love to one day have a successful blog that people actually find informative. Writing a blog is oddly time consuming, not because of the writing but just knowing what to include!
However, this makes for excellent procrastination during the hot summer months! Although similar to Instagram there is nothing to write about when you can barely leave your apartment…bring on winter or a well paying job so I can go on holiday.
Unlike most people I do enjoy cleaning, having everything perfectly in order and polished to perfection. It has always been my go to time wasting activity. At university my dorm room was pretty much immaculate and by books were arranged in alphabetical order. The problem with cleaning is there is always something to do, meaning it can be a little too time consuming when you really need to get a project finished.
So this post may be a little pointless, however, I have to write 100 restaurant descriptions (about 6,000 words) and this seemed like a great way to distract myself.