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Easy Hobbies to Feel Productive while Procrastinating

Easy Hobbies to Feel Productive while Procrastinating

I hate doing things

This is not a joke. Unlike April Ludgate’s answer at the Pawnee pageant, I myself do not like people, places, or things. Whenever I have to complete a task, I spend three hours panicking and procrastinating about it first: it is my process. During an abysmally bad mental health year, it was especially hard for me to get past the panic and procrastination part. What I’ve found really helps me is to use my procrastination time to be productive in a different way. Any hobby is a productive hobby, the only hard part is finding something you like. 

Sims 4

I have two video games I like playing when I’m avoiding my responsibilities, one is Sims 4, the other is a strategy game app that has ads that make it too embarrassing to publicly announce. With Sims 4, I find it both fulfilling and fun to see how my house building skills progress with every assignment I’m hiding from. It started out with YouTube showing me a Lilsimsie video of her fixing the house her sister built. Full honesty: it was life-changing.

By seeing how one of the most famous Sims YouTubers show easy ways to improve your build, I immediately opened Origin and loaded my last saved game from 2019. Imagine my joy when I discovered my last build attempt was identical to Lilsimsie’s sister’s build. It is such a productive hobby for me because, even though it usually has nothing to do with my to-do list, I can see my ability to do things I thought I couldn’t do. Before, every house I built was basically an apartment complex with the way I gave every household member a living room, private bathroom, office, and mini kitchen in their bedrooms because I made them too big and I needed to fill space to look good. Now, my houses are places actual people would live in. 

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The best part about this productive hobby is the ability to upload your builds to the gallery and see how others like them. The first build I uploaded got 25 downloads-I was ecstatic! The last build I uploaded currently has 168 downloads, and I’m even happier. They’re not big numbers necessarily, but I know if I keep practicing I’ll get better and I’ll feel proud of myself regardless.

Here’s some mini-tips for building a better build:

Start Small: I think this is the first mistake everyone makes, because it certainly was mine. Like I mentioned earlier, building a bigger space may make you feel that your build is more extravagant, however, it then makes furnishing an absolute disaster. Good practice for this would be trying to build as compact of a tiny house as you can as it will show you what a small space can hold.

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Try the legacy challenge: The legacy challenge, known to many Sims 4 Youtubers, is to make 1 sim, move them into the biggest empty lot in town, and reducing their money to 1800-2000 ish dollars. Shift+CTRL+C to open the cheat bar, then type “Money 1800,” into the white box that will pop up at the top and your sim will be so broke you won’t be able to fully build them one room. The point of this challenge is to continuously build the house over the generations with no further money cheats, only money that your sim makes through the game. It’ll help you make carefully curated decisions when building, because you don’t have much money to work with. (Hint: Planting and Harvesting expensive flowers like Snapdragons and Roses are my favorite way to get rich quick. You will have to eventually build a giant garden in the backyard through.)

Use photos of real houses for reference: I know this seems obvious, but it was not obvious to me until I saw Lilsimsie do it (I’m ashamed). If you’re staring at the intimidating empty lot and stuck for ideas, find a picture and follow it. You’ll notice things like how to make a roof look good (arguably the hardest thing when building) and how to improve landscaping. DO NOT forget your landscaping! Landscaping is also a hard skill to figure out but once you’ve come up with a design you like, adding it to the lot will be the perfect finishing touch. This is especially great for when you upload a build, as having the landscaping pre-done is the best thing ever to fellow simmers.

I recommend starting out trying to build a suburban house. They’re simple and easy to accomplish.

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a two-story house build from Sims 4, with an orange roof, and white and grey stone walls.
My latest build, it took a lot of time and practice but it’s mine 🙂 Feel free to use this for a reference image if you have no idea where to start.

Make Spotify Playlists

Writing this one down because it’s what I did last night when I couldn’t sleep. This is a productive hobby because sometimes pre-made playlists just don’t hit the way you want them to for the mood you’re in. I’m also someone who’s hesitant to try new songs–I know its ridiculous but it makes me feel like I’m cheating on my favorite song. To avoid the discomfort that unfamiliar songs can occasionally give me, making my own playlist is the only way to make sure my music is exactly the way I want it.

It’s also important to note that artists can see the playlists you’ve made once you’ve added their songs to your playlist. For this reason, I love to name my playlists as chaotically as possible and change the image to something funny so when Taylor Swift and Lil Pump see themselves on the same disastrously named playlist, they’ll both be perplexed. At least that’s what I like to tell myself.

A woman wearing headphones sitting beside a window

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Easy Artwork

If you’re an exemplary artist of oil on canvas, I am very jealous of you because I do not have the patience to become as good of a painter as you. Despite this, I still greatly enjoy creative projects, such as diamond painting. I’m thinking about starting embroidery soon, but I have to get over my fear of stabbing my fingers with a needle first. 

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If you’re unfamiliar with diamond painting, it’s when you’re given a kit full of tiny little plastic pieces of different colors. Each color is assigned to a different number, so it’s kind of like paint by numbers but with the need for greater attention and precision. What I like about diamond painting is the reduced stress of making a mistake. It’s a productive hobby because you’re creating something you can keep and that you worked hard to complete. Make no mistake though, they take a long time to finish. But when you’re done, you have a sparkly painting to hang up! I recommend buying more tools when you buy your first kit though, particularly an organized container box for all of the little diamond pieces. It’s likely the first kit you buy will only include one sticky pen and some just-ok trays, but trust me when I say you’re going to want a sticky pen that can hold five diamonds instead of one very, very quickly into starting this productive hobby.

A colorful diamond painting of an OWL
Animals are a common first choice when starting this hobby, and I’m probably going to buy this one when I finish my current cat one

Learn a new language

This is harder to do as you get older, so you might as well start now! As someone who is bilingual, I find that I have more job opportunities because of my increased ability to communicate with others. When I was a teenager, I downloaded Duolingo to add French to my list of languages. I wanted to be trilingual! Why didn’t I stick with it? I could be so much cooler than I already am. If I kept up this productive hobby, I could speak 3 languages by now, maybe I would’ve even tried to pick up a fourth.

I recommend picking a language that is popular in the area you live in or plan to live in after graduation. It’s becoming increasingly common for graduates to move abroad for a year or so to travel and work in other countries–don’t be like Emily from Emily in Paris who barely bothers to learn how to say anything in French, to the point of writing an apology letter of such illiterate brain goop that Camille says, “Leave me alone, you illiterate sociopath.” Be better than Emily. Be Camille, who speaks two languages.

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Learning another language also doesn’t have to require 1000 flashcards of random words. Whenever I feel that I’m losing my Spanish, I’ll change the audio of one of my favorite shows to be in Spanish with English Subtitles. When I was very little, I learned English from watching Dora the Explorer.

An screengrab from the Netflix show
Learning a second language can help you avoid this moment

Start a collection

My last productive hobby to recommend is starting a collection of things you like, especially if they might be worth a lot in the future. I used to collet snow globes as a kid, but my mom stopped buying them when my clumsy self kept breaking them. After this, I tried collecting mugs. I broke those too (RIP my llama mug that I, on autopilot, smashed into my countertop to kill a bug. The bug lived.)

Now, I collect something I cannot possibly break: squishmallows. I was hesitant to start this collection because, at 23, I am arguably too old to be collecting stuffed animals. The good thing is that I do not care. They are so soft. They are so squishy. At the moment, I only have two and I’m not keeping them carefully untouched–Reginald the corgi is currently holding my laptop for me on my bed. When I go to sleep, Ferdie the Frog makes a fantastic thing to hold for comfort (seriously, better than the build-a-bears). Once I get more, those will be the ones I keep in great condition. I am unable to predict the future, but judging by how popular the cow squishmallow became because of how rare it was/is, I’m hoping they’ll be worth a pretty penny when I’m old. If not, at least I’ll already have something I can give to my future children. (Ferdie and Reginald are mine, no one can have them.)

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What makes starting a collection a productive hobby is having items that bring you joy, which may potentially be be worth many physical dollars in the future, but will always be priceless to you.

Fifi the Fox Squishmallow
I’m getting Fifi the fox next, look at this cute little thing