It’s 10 PM on a Sunday and tomorrow’s assignment is STILL not finished, because you just couldn’t resist watching those last 10 Youtube videos…. Let’s face it, we all procrastinate, but does the accumulation of our lost hours translate into a bleak future? Luckily, history tells us there’s still hope for you, you little procrastinator. Here are 8 famous procrastinators that prove your YouTubing and doodling won’t necessarily kill your career.
Being a boy genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart put the pro in procrastination. As George Nissen recounted, the night before his production of Don Giovanni would go to stage, Mozart stayed up all night, drinking punch and writing the opera’s overture, finishing it at 5 AM and performing it without rehearsal. Sound like any school project misadventures?
2. J.K. Rowling
The loving Harry Potter author admitted on Twitter that, in addition to social media, she finds many things that distract her from her writing, including 24 hour news channels, reading for research and playing Minecraft. Let’s all take a moment to be thankful that Minecraft did not exist while she was writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!
3. Leonardo da Vinci
Historians studying Da Vinci, paint a picture of a man epically distracted by his own mind. Psychology Doctor Piers Steel explains that da Vinci fully finished only about 10 of his painting artworks. The same Mona Lisa we gawk at today took him 15 years to finish. Even worse was his depiction of The Virgin of the Rocks, commissioned by the Church of San Francesco Grande, which he finished in 25 years. That’s slightly overdue on the 7 month deadline he was originally given.
4. Jennifer Lawrence
In addition to helping us procrastinate on the interwebs (Jen memes, am I right?!), Jennifer Lawrence admits that she needs to stay busy for the fear of not getting anything done. When asked what she does in her spare time, she answered: “if I don’t have anything to do all day I might not even put my pants on”. She also admitted to the Huffington Post that she would rather lounge about watching reality TV than going to the gym or even going out with friends.
5. The Dalai Lama
Even the most peaceful of spiritual leaders have their off days. Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the 14th Dalai Lama, reported that as a student he was often bored and unmotivated. As Piers Steel quotes, Gyatso said: “only in the face of a difficult challenge or an urgent deadline would I study and work without laziness.” He seemed to have learned his lesson. Now he teaches that “you must not procrastinate. Rather you should make preparations so that even if you die tonight, you would have no regrets.”
6. Justin Timberlake
The ultra-smooth singer and Friends with Benefits actor told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview that he tends to put off important things, like compiling his schedule for performances. While preparing for the iHeartRadio Music Festival, he confessed: “I have not put the set list together yet because, as you know, I procrastinate on things like that”.
7. Dan Howell
Youtube star Dan Howell, better known as Danisnotonfire, boasts a Youtube following of over 5 million (in August 2015) fans – in addition to his British BBC Radio career with Phil Lester (better known as AmazingPhil). Despite his social success, he admits to procrastination being his forte when exam season arrived.
In this video below he demonstrates his procrastinating talent which appears as soon as he has real work to do. We get you Dan.
8. Douglas Adams
One the most famous procrastination quotes come from one of the authors of the book series, The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy”. “I love deadlines,” writes Douglas Adams, “I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Notorious for his stalling tendencies, his editors reportedly trapped him in a hotel suite for three weeks to get him to write the fourth book of the series, So Long and Thanks for all the Fish.