Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guide to Effective Procrastination

As a college student, I'd like to think I know a thing or two about procrastination. I've been observing my activities this Sunday--the day before my first paper of the semester is due--and thought I would make a blog post with the aim of explaining my own practices and helping others to procrastinate more effectively. Here follows a list of things one can do to improve one's rate of procrastination.

1. Make a facebook note, diary entry, blog post... *cough*

2. Social networking sites. Remember that friend you haven't talked to in ages? Now's a great time to catch up!

3. Texting or talking on the phone. Same idea as #2. You suddenly remember your mother asked you to call--and you wouldn't want to be an irresponsible child, would you? After all, she's paying for your tuition...

4. Take a nap. It's been scientifically proven that sleep helps the brain's performance. Sure, you'll get around to that paper--after a nice long nap to replenish those brain cells. Just wait! The paper will be EVEN BETTER two hours after you should have started it.

5. Attend to vital functions. Eat a snack. Eat dinner. Hunt for the gum you know you don't have. Make some tea, or coffee if you're a coffee person. Use the toilet. Take a shower. Etc.

6. Make a "TO DO" list!!! This is one of my favorites. I made one today, in fact. On it were 14 items. I have completed--let me see....3. This over a period of about 6 hours. What can I say? Procrastination at its best.

7. Do something else. That not-necessarily-urgent chore or assignment you have that could wait but would only take just a few minutes to do now? Do it. Wash your dishes, or something. I washed the dishes AND read The Importance of Being Earnest. In doing so, I felt both accomplished in completing these small tasks and justified in procrastinating on my larger, rather more important ones.

8. Do part of the assignment. Start it, leave off for a while, come back, stare blankly, leave off, do #7. This way you can say that at least you got something done...even if it was only the header and title.

9. Go read! Reading's good, isn't it? Watching movies works, too. Today I watched part of Eclipse in the lounge while waiting for my dinner to cook. I also had my laptop out. Having one's laptop out is a very good way to look like you're doing something productive when you really just want an excuse to watch the vampire flick you haven't seen yet.

10. Read the requirements. This way, you can review what the assignment is and fool yourself into thinking you're actually making progress on it. To further improve procrastination on this point, open up the Word document and type the requirements at the top of your unwritten paper. There they will stay, for you to stare at and stress about.

11. Just do nothing. But this gets boring after a while.

My paper, in case anyone is wondering, is supposed to be about "Thought" in Hedda Gabler. I haven't even read the whole play...Luckily, the paper is only supposed to be 2 pages, even if the topic of "thought" is annoyingly vague. But I can't think of any more ways to procrastinate, so it seems I'll have to actually start it... *sigh*


  1. I'm procrastinating right now by reading your blog about procrastination :) Oh the cycle.....

  2. Haha. It's a vicious circle ;) Glad to be of some help on your journey to the land of inefficiency! :)


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