My first semester of college, I had a mandatory class called “Foundations for Learning.” The teacher gave us study tips, taught us time management, organization and social skills, and told us that it was completely normal to not know what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives at the ripe age of 18.
I couldn’t make a list of the study tips, and I am in no position to teach anyone anything about time management and organization. But I can tell you about one thing that stuck with me from this course- the idea of “productive procrastination.” Our book described different types of procrastination in great detail, and over the past few years I have practiced productive procrastination religiously.
Basically, if you’re going to procrastinate anyway, you might as well get something else done, no matter how unrelated or unnecessary it may be. Here are a few ideas to keep you procrastinating, guilt free (almost).
1. Clean Your Room
Cleaning is awful. But studying is worse. Cleaning is the lesser of two evils, and you can justify organizing your room by saying you can’t focus with all of the clutter. You want to feng shui your space; totally understandable.
2. Make a Collage
A great way to avoid work is pretending there is none and that you’re still on the tropical family vacation you took last winter. Pick some of your favorite pictures from the trip, print them, and make a new piece of wall décor. It’s easy to get lost in photos for hours. Pictures from middle school, old vacation photos, and baby pictures are my personal favorites.
3. Take a Nap
On the surface, napping seems like a waste of time. You could get so much done in that 30 minutes (realistically, 3 hours). How is resting your brilliant brain to prepare for studying a waste of time? Riddle me that.
4. Check your Privacy
We are all guilty of cyber stalking just about everyone we know, especially when we have a million other important things to do. Next time you’re creeping on someone, check your own privacy settings and make sure that you’re information is secure. If it’s not, figure out how to fix it and get your privacy settings in place! This goes for all of your accounts…and y’know that could take forever to fix.
5. Go to the Gym
Exercise is good for your health. People are always making time to work out, so if you don’t already, now is as good a time as any to start. You can even put your notes in front of you and pretend to read them for added effect. How productive! Physical and mental health, all at once!
Be productive and be creative in your procrastination methods! There are tons of perks- you could have a clean room, sore legs, and even a collage. I will warn you though, you probably won’t end up with an A on that final exam you should be studying for.