I find myself in this situation quite often. It’s not a matter of boredom or for lack of anything better to do - I can name many things on which I could (and perhaps should) focus. I’ll name them, even. But first, to explain this situation:
I’m sat here at a desk. It happens to be in my flat. I could sit at my other table, or at the co-working space, or one of several cafes - the exact location doesn’t matter. Though I suppose, sat at this one at home, I’m more prone to distraction… Be that as it may, it’s simply difficult for me to focus my attention. Things ping around in my mind, all these tasks to accomplish, all the unfinished business, but none of them compel me to action. Instead I fritter my focus on inanities. I catch myself, close the website tab or at least minimise it, pick up my phone. Surely there are people to contact, news to read. I see no pressing emergencies.
I should complete this application. That would be productive. I should clean the dishes. That would be expedient. I should edit through photos - that could be meaningful. I could write a serious essay. That might give my life purpose.
I have vague plans for the night. I’ll meet a friend. I don’t know what we’ll do. I’m not sure how to define our relationship.
I get up, make some coffee, feel inspired, aim to focus.
I tidy the apartment. I hang a photo. It’s crooked. I correct it.
There are emails I could write. There are trips I could plan. Laundry to run, old friends and relatives to communicate with. There are life goals like my groundbreaking screenplay to start drafting. I won’t be doing any of it.
What is this experience? How is it that I while away my time as such? Surely I’m not the only one. I stare at the office building across the street. People sit at their desks. I study their faces. Some seem engaged. Others are vacant, vacuous. A malaise covers this city, the day bit with a contagious stultification.
Daydreams are pleasant. One comes: I’m in a bigger room, better light, nicer environment. I’m warm, comfortable, my posture straightened, my appetite sated. I sit at my laptop, similar to how I do now. My machine and I are one - free of distraction. I am doing something important. It’s actually this. These words teleport to the minds of prominence and sophistication. The feedback is immediate, the gratification instant. Each character hit is a dopamine sensation. I can relax, rest easy in knowing that this feeling can stretch out before me. I kick up my feet. Bask in the warm wind. I can hear the ocean.
My lover brings me a drink. We kiss. Children run into the ocean. They’re ours, our progeny promised, our legacies golden. We’re healthy and privileged and living in the moment. Our lives are perfect. This is the sensation I have during bouts of procrastination. I want to dedicate my energy to manifesting this.