Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

The 30 “Best” Ways to Procrastinate at Work

By Anthony Hughes | Apr 14, 2016 | Friday Funnies

facebook symbol running after a clock with a knife with caption "be wise with your time!"Procrastination is like a full time job to some people.

Honestly, it’s extraordinary… the lengths some will go to, to avoid work!

Are YOU a culprit? Do you find yourself getting distracted by weird and wonderful things? Or (goodness forbid) Facebook?

Don’t worry – everyone does it. But some more brashly than others.

This week, I’ve been rounding up some of the best (and weirdest) procrastination efforts I’ve ever seen or heard about. Enjoy…

Creative Procrastination:

1. Origami. Could you make this elephant?

2. Practice your signature. You could be famous one day – do you really want your autograph to be a scrawl and a squiggle with a smiley face?

3. Write a poem. Get those creative juices flowing with a poem about anything you like; you could even enter it into a writing competition (too far?).

4. Plan your Halloween costume. So what if it is months away? Start planning now and your outfit could be truly amazing.

5. Draw a picture of your team. Take doodling to a whole new level with a beautiful masterpiece. Your boss might be so impressed that they hang it on the fridge…

6. Create a secret handshake. Then decide who has the honour of sharing it with you.

Challenge Yourself:

office rowing team 7. Try writing with your wrong hand. Even better; try and do it without anyone else noticing!

8. Hold your breath. How long you can do it for? (Do try not to pass out though – that’s possibly taking it all a little bit too far).

9. Learn to speak Pirate. Or elvish, or Shyriiwook (Wookie) or whichever fictional language you might fancy.

10. Start a debate. Sit back and relax, while a battle of the brains commences across the office.

11. Office rowing. Challenge one of the other teams to an office rowing race.

12. Create a “things to do before I die” list. This could be some seriously life changing stuff.

13. Get a song stuck in everyone’s heads. See how many people you can get to hum a catchy song, by subliminally planting it in their mind. And repeat.

Inspirational Procrastination:

14. Tweet some inspirational quotes. It’s great for your company brand (depending on what you deem ‘inspirational,’ obviously).

15. Create an inspirational playlist. Watch your productivity soar as you’re listening to motivational anthems like ‘working 9-5’ and ‘don’t stop believing.’

16. Find a new, inspirational computer wallpaper. Whether it’s your favourite quote, a family photo or an entrepreneur you look up to, feel inspired every time you switch your computer on or off.

17. Read an inspirational blog. Perhaps, one on how to be more productive… or one that inspires your entrepreneurial spirit!

Fun Procrastination:

18. Prank a colleague. It doesn’t have to be April Fool’s Day to play a trick on your unsuspecting co-workers – click here to check out some of the best!

19. Eat something. Food is life. What better way to distract ourselves than tucking into a cupcake or (for the healthier people amongst you) a banana.

20. Spam a colleague. Email them repeatedly with the lyrics of a well-known song, one line at a time.

21. Funny cat videos. Everyone loves these don’t they? Just one can brighten up your day – and they actually make you more productive in the long run, apparently. Check it out.

22. Play ‘would you rather’ with a colleague. This could get interesting (or terrifying)…

23. Exercise. Yes, you could be doing exercise, right now, at your desk. Click here to find out how.

24. Check Facebook. Just in case, you know, something really, really, really important happened in the last ten minutes.

Productive Procrastination:

25. Purge your inbox. Got thousands of unopened emails (probably spam)? Clear them out and move everything into neat little folders. It feels so GREAT when it’s done!

26. Write a list. Of all the things you should be doing. Then you can start ticking things off (feels great) starting with the smaller items if that’s what you prefer.

27. Watch some sort of educational video. You’ll find pretty much everything you want on the internet, is there something you could do with learning/improving/developing? (Check out TED for some inspiration).

28. Plan a social event. Employee engagement is a huge deal at the moment and putting on a social event will help to boost it – making staff happier and more hardworking. (But it’s also really fun)!

29. Take a nap! Studies have actually shown that taking a nap at work can actually boost energy, focus and productivity!

30. Sign up to this blog! (Sorry, had to). Our weekly Friday Funnies are filled with lighthearted stories and funny workplace confessions – great for procrastinating – but we also offer advice too! That’s what we call productive procrastination! Click here to subscribe!

How do YOU procrastinate?

We’d love to hear about your weird and wonderful procrastination ‘techniques’ – feel free to drop us a comment below or email our Digital Content Manager at and we’ll add yours to our list!

Recruiter Pro Tip (the serious bit)

If you do catch your staff procrastinating a lot at work – it might be worth asking – why?

Is it because they don’t have enough work to do? Is the work boring? Are they a trouble-maker?

It’s really important to make sure your staff are satisfied, happy and engaged at work – that’s the only way to ensure that they truly care about the success of your company!

Want more procrastination inspiration?

Check out these funny posts…

Happy Friday folks!

- Anthony Hughes

Anthony Hughes

Anthony is a recruitment veteran of 18 years and is also one of the original founders of Coburg Banks. He now trains recruitment consultants on the best methods to utilise when sourcing and assessing applicants for their clients. 


> More blog posts by Anthony Hughes

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