List Envy
List Envy
Apr 26, 2021
44: Top 5 ways to procrastinate
Play • 52 min


Bryony Williams

Your favourite rockstar with a watergun, once compared to a young Fiona Apple.

Mark is joined by super-talented singer-songwriter Bryony Williams. Bryony realised she could sing in her early teens, and spent most of her mid-to-late teens honing her craft. At nineteen she was in the electro-pop duo Field Harmonics, and has been recording solo since 2018.

Bryony’s picks

In order of discussion:


Number one – with not so much a bullet as a scented wet wipe – for Bryony, and for so many, is cleaning. It’s a great way to see a problem and eliminate it with extreme prejudice; perfect for those times when you just don’t want to tackle that spreadsheet.

Spontaneous trips out with pals

You’ve got a job to do, and then your friend calls you up and asks if you want to go on a day trip. Are you honestly going back to work, or are you grabbing your keys and heading out the door? At least if the job doesn’t get done today, you can chalk it off to research.

The mobile

Whether it’s watching videos on YouTube or TikTok, endlessly doomscrolling or looking at people impersonating the Simpsons, our phones are several-hundred-pound procrastination engines.


Any kind of TV binge can be a great way to tell ourselves we’re feeding our souls. And perhaps we are, but maybe crime documentaries aren’t the thing are brain needs right before we’re supposed to write that tricky email.

Mark’s picks

In order of discussion

Over-planning the task

Mark is not necessarily a planner by nature, but make him anxious about a thing, or give him a thing to do that he really doesn’t want to, and watch him plan and research to the nth degree.

Organising and taxonomising

A great example of this is tagging faces and locations in digital photo collections, or fixing the metadata in your music library (if you’re still the kind of person who has one, and doesn’t get all their music from a streaming service). It’s horrifically addictive to a certain brain type.

Putting the kettle on

It could be making a pot of tea, putting on a pot of coffee, or just crunching through a handful of dry roasted peanuts, filling the face is an excellent way to solve a problem – that perhaps doesn’t exist – before you really get down to the task at hand.


If you’ve got cats, they probably don’t want your affection right now. They’ll let you know when that sort of thing is appropriate. Dogs are a different story of course, but almost any pet can sense when you’re paying them attention in order to avoid paying attention to the thing you don’t want to be doing.

Honourable mentions
  • Imagining hypotheticals
  • Bargaining
  • Gardening

More of Bryony Williams

You can get a limited edition copy of Bryony’s EP Growing / Fading, and follow her on Instagram or Twitter for more.


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