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Study Tips: How to Procrastinate Productively

Aug 13, 2012 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Education.org Columnist | 0 Comments

Most college students procrastinate—and just about every college student or graduate you meet can tell you at least one harrowing story about staying up all night to write a paper they were supposed to be spending weeks on. It’s not unusual—but if you must procrastinate, there’s a good way to do it and a bad way. Here are a few tips for getting things done—even when you’re putting something off.

Procrastinate on one thing by doing something else productive

If you’re putting off writing that school paper, don’t procrastinate by kicking back and watching TV. Instead, start the smaller paper that’s also due—the one that’s easier. Or study for that test that’s coming up. Or work on your resume, or apply to an internship. Do something else you have to do anyway, and you won’t be completely wasting your time—and doing some work in another area may get you ready for the bigger task you’ve been putting off.

Man Procradtinating

Everyone procrastinates—although for some, it’s more chronic than for others. If you’re procrastinating during finals week or putting off writing that important paper, you can still get important things done.

 

 

 

Get some physical activity in

If you just can’t stand the idea of sitting still and working for a few hours, go for a run. Or a walk. Or hit the gym, or go for a bike ride. Doing something physically active is healthy, and time spent exercising is valuable. Sometimes, exercise can help clear your head and give you time to think about the problem you’re facing. Some people do their best planning while they’re working out.

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Practice something fun

Sometimes you just need to blow off some steam. So why not procrastinate by practicing something you love? Take out a musical instrument, write some poetry, or practice your jump shot. This way, you’ll be spending your time usefully—by getting better at an activity you enjoy. And sometimes doing something physical or creative can give you energy to complete other things you’ve been putting off.

Watch something educational

Maybe you just really need to sit back and watch some TV. But don’t turn on reality television. Instead, watch something that teaches you something interesting, or something that’s relevant to your studies. It could be that the BBC biopic on William Shakespeare could get you inspired to work on your essay about The Taming of the Shrew.

Browse blogs that are relevant to your studies or career

Everyone uses the Internet to procrastinate. If this is the type of time-waster you’re craving, don’t just go on YouTube and watch funny videos. Go on and read blogs that have to do with your upcoming job search, the career you want to go into, your studies, and other things that are productive. Who knows—you may learn something important or pick up a few study tips that will help you on your next test.

Work on your social media profile

If you’d rather be on social media, don’t just stalk your friends. Go online and start cleaning up your Facebook and Twitter pages for your upcoming job search. A large number of employers will check out the social media presence of applicants, and you can get a head start on your job search by making sure yours is squeaky clean.

Everyone procrastinates—although for some, it’s more chronic than for others. If you’re procrastinating during finals week or putting off writing that important paper, you can still get important things done. For some people, getting a few smaller, easier tasks done first gets them primed to work on the more difficult tasks. Follow these tips, and you can be productive—even when you’re avoiding something you need to do.

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