Avoiding some tedious paperwork? Been putting off tidying up the backyard? Never got around to signing up for that class you wanted to take? Is that half-completed afghan still sitting in the drawer? What about “Thank You” cards, sorting the recycling, or organizing your e-mails?

If you’re like me, there is something – perhaps several things – that have gone undone despite all good intentions and plans.

What do I do instead?

I easily let other activities like watching TV, surfing the Web, playing computer games, or researching recipes keep me from completing what’s on my To Do list. Avoiding tasks has, for me, become an art form.

One way to rationalize not doing any chores is to remind myself I’m retired. “I don’t have to get that project done today; I’ve got plenty of time tomorrow … or the next day. I’m retired.” I get irritated, however, when the time involved to perfect the skill of procrastination outweighs the time it takes to do the task itself.

I’m always looking for easy entertaining ways to avoid work.

Enter procrastibaking

The New York Times recently did an article on baking as a way to avoid doing chores and gain sanity  – hence procrastibaking!

It’s not a new concept that food and cooking rituals provide comfort and a way to remain peaceful in the vortex of our crazy lives. Evidenced by the well-known calming effect of such programs as The Great British Baking Show, making confections takes us away — away to a place without deadlines, politics, or obligations. Whether you like to make long, slow recipes that take up an entire day or a quick zucchini bread, it can feel delightful to transition from our pressured lives into the zen of culinary creating.

Particularly on days leading up to stressful times like Tax Day or a wedding day or Election Day, you can see a proliferation of baked goods on Instagram with the procrastibaking hashtag. Check it out here to see some delicious pics of cookies and cakes on Instagram that have been produced in the name of avoiding something.

Be warned, however, that whatever you decide to bake should not be to fulfill an obligation, like a commitment to a Bake Sale, nor should it be something that you need to make in order to meet your daily nutritional needs. I usually bake something that is fun AND delicious even if that means I have a serving and then share the rest with friends. And, preferably, whatever you make is best if a trip to the store isn’t required — you use what you have on hand for your creation.

Here is a pic of a recent peach crostata I made when, in fact, I was supposed to be going through boxes to find goods for a charitable rummage sale.

There IS a downside for me

With procrastibaking I feel comforted in the moment of creating, admiring, and/or consuming my baked goods, but sometimes in the future after having taken the time to create my confection I can feel bad that I didn’t knuckle down and do what I intended to get done.

For me, it all depends on the seriousness of my deadlines. Procrastibaking provides the greatest enjoyment if there is some squishiness to my timeline. If I can complete tomorrow what I planned to do today, great! If I absolutely need to get the job done right now, there’s no baking small enough to squeeze in an hour of procrastibaking.

Whatever you decide works for you

If you think you might like to try procrastibaking, you can find six recipes to make from the New York Times here.