Productive Procrastination

While in the middle of midterm mayhem, furiously studying definitely takes up a major portion of my free time. In all honesty, taking breaks from studying takes up a major portion of that time I dedicate to hitting the books. Procrastination is an important part of university life – it’s what separates us from our computers and calculators. However, there is a difference between wasting my time drooling over Facebook or Twitter and something that I like to call “productive procrastination.” Contrary to popular belief, there are slightly more justifiable ways to avoid academia while still being a proactive contributor to society. Productive procrastination helps me take guilt-free breaks from my studying.

Some activities that I have found work best include:

  • Updating an outdated resume: Why write that essay when I could write something that will earn me cash?
  • Start a daily journal: Writing about my day always clears my mind, making studying and homework a much easier process.
  • Plan a Go Global exchange: Nothing helps me procrastinate like picturing a semester abroad. Presently, I am aiming for Iceland!
  • Practice music or investigate learning a new instrument: Living on Res, I find it hard to keep up on my drumming. There are music practice rooms on campus; take advantage!

Some other awesome ideas could include:

  • Applying for a super interesting summer internship – check out msmith’s post Summer Job Hunt.
  • Reading a classic novel on your list (or a new hit) that isn’t a course requirement.
  • Exercising (outdoors, if possible).
  • Emailing your family or an old friend.
  • Memorizing the lyrics to a favourite song just by singing along.
  • Washing your sheets!
  • Drawing, even if you’re terrible at it like me.
  • Writing poetry (Haiku counts too).
  • Exploring a new building on campus.
  • Organizing your calendar for next month.
  • Volunteering on campus or in the city.

For those of you who, like me, still struggle with subconsciously opening a Facebook or Twitter tab while doing course work, check out SelfControl for Mac and SelfRestraint for PC, two GPA-saving applications that can block social media access for predetermined periods of time.

If you still struggle with internet addiction, check out this article: Switching off: Rebooting away from the computer.


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