Michille: Procrastibaking


This is a re-post of an old blog post. In my work world, which is K-12 grants, things are OUT OF CONTROL. All those headlines of schools going remote or hybrid or face-to-face with modifications have earthquake tremors that run through a school system because they affect EVERYONE. We have a county school system set up (as opposed to borough or township which other states have) so our school system is large (41 schools). The $21 million in restricted revenue flows through my office. Much of that requires that we submit plans to the funding agency detailing how we are spending it. Well, folks, all those grant plans we submitted in the spring need to be amended. ALL of them. So now I’m dealing with fiscal-year end AND amending the bulk of our grants. I wish I had time to procrastibake. I have a cake I’ve been dying to make.

Procrastibaking is for another day for me, but maybe you can do some procastibaking or procrasti . . .

I stumbled on a New York Times article: Why Work When You Can Procrastibake? I do this on a fairly regular basis but I never knew it had a name. In fact, my husband, a college professor, is getting his second teaching award in 4 years and he firmly believes it’s because he feeds his kids the baked good that I procrastibake.

Julia Moskin defines procrastibaking as the practice of baking something completely unnecessary, with the intention of avoiding “real” work and believes it to be a surprisingly common habit. Apparently, not all procrastibakers bake alike. Some make long, slow recipes that break up the entire day, returning to their work in between steps. Others whip up something quick to attempt to get the creative juices flowing. One person quoted in the article makes macarons because they can take several days. Jeez, I don’t kid myself with something that complicated. I usually do cookies, cakes, or brownies.

Procrastibaking is a thriving hashtag on Instagram so of course, I had to break and check Instagram. And it’s true. But, it’s not all good. Tim Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, says that procrastination is one of few situations in which people consistently make choices that are demonstrably bad. So I guess I can’t pass it off as being creative.

There was a quote from a romance writer, Mia Hopkins: “When I was schoolteacher, I used to procrastinate by reading and writing romances,” she said. “When I started writing romance full time, I had to find a new way to procrastinate.” Gotta love that.
What is your procrati-_________? Procratibaking, procrasticleaning, procrastisurfing (I’m also guilty of this)?

7 thoughts on “Michille: Procrastibaking

  1. I seem to be baking more now than I used to, and it’s a lot more experimental—I omit sugar or cut it by 3/4 of what the recipe calls for; or I use applesauce instead of butter, or I use almond flour instead of wheat. Or I leave out things that I don’t have so that I don’t have to go to the store for them (hello, sour cream, I’m looking at you). I think part of that is the effort to be “healthier,” and it’s true that all the substitutions result in baked goods with fewer carbohydrate or fat calories. But the unintended (or maybe psychologically intended) consequence is that I don’t eat very much of these items, either in one sitting or overall. They’re not that good, for starters, and while they might ease the craving for, say, banana bread, my banana breads have been coming out so heavy because of substitutions (last time: no sugar, use up the dates, instead!) that a little bit goes a long way. So that’s kind of working for me, even though I’d never take any of these efforts out into company. I’m not sure the baking that I’m doing is “procrastibaking,” since I don’t have a job I’m avoiding, but it certainly is a new, um, hobby.

    And that takes me to…Yikes! You have a lot on your plate, Michille! Good luck with amending all those grants. All the schools in your district, not to mention the rest of the country, thank you.

    • You’re very creative with your substituting. I’m getting ready to make a cake that adds all that stuff. Oh, and I need to feed my sourdough today. We usually have pizza on Friday but my son wants salad tonight instead (we do major salads – everything but the kitchen sink and homemade dressing) so I’ll just feed it and put it back in the fridge later. It’s too bad I don’t live near Elizabeth because she’s been trying to start sourdough. I could have give her some.

  2. Although I gave sourdough starter/bread a try, like many others, I’ve spent much more time on procrasti-cleaning. In times of stress or worry or when I have something else I don’t want to do, cleaning is my go-to activity. Since these have been very stressful times, that means the kitchen cupboards have been reorganized, the spices alphabetized, the clothes in my dresser arranged by both type and color, . . . you get the idea.

    I find having things organized to be very calming. Plus, then I can find things.

    Although my job doesn’t seem quite as hectic as yours these days, there are still far to many things to accomplish and far too little time to do it in. I may need to take up another procrasti-skill to cope. 🙂

    • I am reminded to feed my sourdough. I don’t plan to make anything with it so it’s too bad I can’t give you 8 oz. I’m still doing the ‘get rid of one thing a day’ thing. It’s my second year and it’s WONDERFUL! I have so many fewer ‘things’. Last year I got rid of more than 1,000 things. Today is regular cleaning day Chez Caples.

      Some day, once the year end and grant changes are done, maybe I can procrasti-something.

      Don’t you make quilts?

  3. Sorry things are so stressful Michille. We had our first day of virtual school here in AZ and I basically ran from one kids’ room to the next all day to make sure they were online at the right times. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I hope you’re able to make it through, procrasti-anything or not.

    • I feel your pain. I could never home school my kids or even oversee online learning. They would push my buttons and I’d give up. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with that. My son’s university is online this fall so he is staying home. We’re still paying for his apartment but at least we’re not paying for two (China and Indiana, PA) like we did in the spring when his university made him come home from Nanjing. It’s been 100 years since the last pandemic. Here’s hoping this one ends and there isn’t another for a good long while.

  4. Pingback: Jilly: Bake, Write, Repeat – Eight Ladies Writing

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