Ways to procrastinate productively

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Procrastination is a wonderful and devastating thing.

It starts off innocently enough – “I’ll just take a quick break before I get started! I need to ease myself into it!” – but before you know it you’re stuck on Tumblr, panicking about whether or not you’ll be able to get your work done on time and procrastinating even more to help yourself forget about your worries.

Here are a handful of procrastination ideas that are productive, will get you feeling on top of things again and are sometimes even beneficial to your study.

Clean up your study space

Cleaning is an excellent way to procrastinate because not only do you have visual evidence that you’ve done something useful with your time, but it’s also a way to make sure you study effectively when you get back into it.

Figure out what it is about your study space that’s leading you to procrastinate so much and find a way to make it better!

De-clutter your desk, put up a calendar with assessment due dates or organise your stationary – do anything that makes your space look more like a place for study rather than a place to get distracted and consequently not get anything done.

Organise your study routine

Procrastination isn’t always a bad thing, as long as you accept that it can’t be an ongoing thing and that you’re going to have to get your work done at some point.

A great way of doing this is by going through all the things you need to do over the next week or month, filling in your calendar and allocating specific time periods to the work you have to get done.

I find making lists and study plans oddly enjoyable, and I always feel super organised and motivated to get started on things afterwards.

Watch some TED talks

I don’t think I have ever seen a boring TED talk, and it’s so easy to find one relevant to your area of study – they even have playlists with talks regarding topics like the brain, religion and even dinosaurs!

As an alternative, the Vsauce channel on YouTube is full of short videos that are full of facts to get your brain cogs turning.

Bake

Procrastibaking is quite possibly the most rewarding form of procrastination for a number of reasons.

First of all, baking is fun and you get to eat while you’re doing it, and you can kill time while you’re waiting for the oven timer to go off by getting some readings done or doing research for upcoming assessments.

And once you’re done, you have study snacks prepared for when you get back to doing your work! You cannot go wrong when it comes to procrastibaking.

Exercise

Sometimes it’s hard to get work done solely because you’ve developed a case of cabin fever from slaving away at it for so long.

Far from making you too tired to get anything done afterwards, going for a quick jog or run on the treadmill will actually release the endorphins and adrenaline you need to motivate yourself to get through that research essay or lab report.

Have a nap

We all have days when we’re far too tired to get anything productive done, but instead of spending hours on Facebook and inevitably making yourself even more tired, sometimes having a short nap is the best way to go.

It’s been proven that even a 30 minute nap is enough to vastly improve cognitive abilities, so you’re much more likely to be able to focus on your work and get through it efficiently if you’ve gotten some much-needed sleep beforehand!

Hopefully these tips have provided you with some ideas for the next time you find yourself putting off what you need to be doing, and put you in the right headspace to get back into your work.

At the end of the day, procrastination is inevitable, but it’s also a great opportunity to organise your life and do things that make you feel good about yourself!

– Aisling

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