What is the obvious first step towards success? Procrastination. Let’s be honest, we have all been there, it is one day before a major assignment or exam is due, and you have not even glanced at any notes. Or hell, you might not even know what the assignment is at all! And I would bet, you might even be reading this as a form of procrastination already, which is why I have compiled the Ten Most Productive Ways To Procrastinate for all my fellow slackers out there.
1. Cleaning EVERYTHING!
Why is it that when we’re avoiding a bigger task, suddenly cleaning seems so fun and enticing? And we, procrastinators, are all about giving into impulsive temptations, so take this time to finally wash the pile of dirty clothes that’s steadily becoming Mt. Everest and actually fold your clean pile of clothes that reside in a chair instead of your dresser. Vacuum up all the hair hiding in your carpet and bust out Mr. Clean for that nasty ring in your tub and toilet. An hour or so later, you’ll finally have a clean space, but still left with a blank word document.
2. Actually Using That Forgotten Agenda
The best way to study is to prepare to study, and the perfect way to procrastinate… ahem, I mean to “prepare” is by filling out that agenda your school gave you during freshman orientation even if it’s halfway through the fall semester of junior year. Grab all your highlighters and colorful gel pens, or honestly at this point, that one pencil that has somehow lasted you all year and fill out your monthly calendars with all upcoming assignments and tests. And go the extra mile and fill out past assignments purely so you can cross those out to get a temporary feeling of proud satisfaction.
3. Discovering New Jams & Organizing Them Into Oddly Specific Playlists
If you’re like most millennials or Gen Z’ers, you cannot stand complete silence for more than five minutes, which is why Spotify is my most used app. They have curated playlists for almost every situation, such as studying, sleeping, and exercising, or if you’re wanting strictly throwback jams to transport you back to a simpler, stress-free time, Spotify has got you. If you’re looking to waste even more time, picking out individual songs and creating your personal playlists is just the time-sucking activity for you. Now you can have all your favorite emo, middle school songs on one playlist and all your Saturday night pre-game bops on another.
4. DIY-ing Anything!
I cannot tell you how many DIY phases I have been through in the name of procrastination; I have made necklaces, earrings, and body chains. I have painted an old pair of jeans and sewn patches and stuck pins on anything sewable or stickable. So now, in the midst of chaos, is the ideal time to try any saved Pinterest pins, whether it be an at home face mask or repurposing an already useless item into something even more useless.
5. Painting A Bob Ross Masterpiece
No matter if you’re studying or not, you’re still stressing about the endless list of assignments, and that’s why painting with Bob Ross is the only therapy session you need, or at least can schedule so last minute. With his soothing voice and only “happy accidents” motto, Bob Ross is your hero with an afro. His beautiful, dreamy landscapes serve as a temporary escape from the dim, stuffy library, and much like an essay, you have something tangible to show for your efforts. But with Bob Ross, you always get an A.
6. Trying Out A New Make-Up Look
Now instead of painting a two-dollar white canvas from Walmart, you can (hopefully) recreate an art masterpiece on your face! Now sit down and take a good look at yourself in the mirror and try to look past the stress breakouts and the red eyes from the no sleep and tears combo. And imagine yourself with the iconic Euphoria rhinestones lining your eyes or the famous James Charles’s rainbow eye. Now pull out every brush and eyeshadow palette you have and turn that dream into reality! And of course make sure to take and post a bunch of selfies to fool not only yourself but also your followers that you actually have your life together.
7. Trying Out New Recipes
In the trend of trying new things, testing out different recipes is a fantastic procrastination method, because it creates the perfect combination: stress and eating. And honestly the more ridiculous the recipe is the better since it’s very apparent we’re not trying to be logical or even slightly reasonable with our decisions during this chaotic time. So I would highly recommend, even for sole viewing pleasure, the Bon Appétit Youtube channel, where trained professional chefs transform Doritos and Oreos into gourmet Doritos and Oreos (whatever that means) or recreate a famous recipe but BLINDFOLDED. They also go head to head with non-food prodigies to make us peasants feel a bit better, but if you can stand the heat, get in the kitchen!
Now if you actually need to get out of the kitchen or your place in general in hopes of escaping your responsibilities, go outside and get some exercise. Stretch out those carpal tunnel fingers and straighten out your computer crouched hunchback and do something good not only for your mental health but for your physical, too. You will feel so much better about yourself exercising versus laying on the couch eating gourmet Doritos with the weight of your assignments only going to your thighs.
9. Last Resort: Educational Netflix
However, if you do find yourself in that classic, vegetable-like state on the couch with no will to live, at least watch something somewhat mentally stimulating on Netflix. Avoid diving head first into a ten season series that’s ultimately going to ruin your social life more than school does. And honestly if you’re not learning what you actually need to learn at least you’ll know some fun facts about religious cults and/or global warming. Possible bonus question? (fingers crossed)
10. Tomorrow Is Now Today.
With less than twelve hours left, reality hits. And it hits hard, but now is not time to panic and envision your inevitable dreary future as a college dropout living in your parents’ basement. Use this new wave of pressure to get something, literally, ANYTHING done, because partial credit is always better than no credit. If it is a ten page research paper with a required minimum of five sources or a final that covers ten chapters, you have to at least get half of it done and turn it in on time. It’s far too late to ask for an extension, and, trust me, do not talk yourself into simply accepting the late points taken off. Don’t keep procrastinating past the due date. You’re only torturing yourself even more.
Now, I know this article has been paradoxically light hearted and morbid, but in all seriousness, procrastination is the worst habit that does not magically stop after graduation. A great rule of thumb to follow is if you can do it in five minutes, then do it now. And I know that seems difficult to apply to a final paper or exam that covers a whole semester’s worth of material, but that “just do it” motto that Shia Labeouf screams at us will get you above and beyond your parents’ basement. Well, at least to the first floor. Good luck and just do it.
HONESTLY, I'M MORE SO WRITING THESE TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MYSELF, BUT I THOUGHT I WOULD GET THAT GOOD KARMA AT THE SAME TIME.