It’s easy to get into a procrastination slump, but wouldn’t it be great if you could at least distract yourself with productive tasks rather than Netflix? Technically, reading this list while procrastinating is productive, because at least you’re trying, sweetie. If you’d like to be a little more ambitious with your procrastination however, read down this list and do what you can. Or, see if you feel up to it after another re-watch of every episode of ‘Arrested Development’.
Unhauling is an easy way to trick yourself into being productive. If your desk is a mess, how can you work? Go through your drawers and throw out anything you haven’t used in a while. And why stop there? Unhaul your closet, your bookshelf, your DVD collection. It’ll save you time in the future; when you only have five outfits, the time it takes you to get dressed in the morning is greatly reduced.
2. Meal Prep
Meal prep is an all-rounder as far as productive tasks go. If you prep all your meals at the start of the week, you won’t have to slave over dinner for the rest of the week. It also allows you to build on your cooking skills. If your overall cooking time is reduced during the week, you won’t be tempted to buy take-out as a time-saver. As a result, you save money and eat healthier.
3. Phone A Friend
Instead of using social media as a distraction, try to connect with your friends the analogue way. Pretend you’re a middle school student in the 90’s, and you’re venting to your bestie on a comically-hamburger-shaped landline phone. Alternatively, practice your letter-writing skills by composing thank-you letters addressed to your pals to reminding them how much you appreciate them.
Sometimes it’s hard to maintain a skincare routine, particularly when they require eight or more steps. Instead, steal the time you should be using for your assignments for ‘productive tasks’. Lavishly listen to whale sounds in a dark room with a peach-scented tissue-mask.
5. Deep Clean
Sick of trying to navigate through your handbag every time you want to find your bus ticket? Deep-cleaning is a staple for distracting yet productive tasks. Empty that sucker out on to a table and throw away all your old receipts, gum wrappers, and stray bobby pins. Gently vacuum the interior to be rid of all the decrepit lint traces. Then move on to bigger cleans, like the glove box of your car.
6. Organise Your Photos
Sometimes it’s hard to keep all your photos in one place. There are tags on Facebook, the cloud you keep on your phone, the computer folder you keep for digital camera pics, and finally the giant wall of polaroids in your bedroom. Organising all these pictures into one date-organised, backed-up magnum opus may seem insurmountable at first, but productive tasks like these will at least keep you distracted for a while.
7. Spend Time With Your Pets
Only the completely heartless would view spending time with your cute animals a waste of time. If you teach them new tricks or just give them a cuddle, it is time well spent.
8. Take A Short Course
Whether you’ve always wanted to learn a new language or get better at coffee art, productive tasks don’t get much more beneficial than this. You can carve out a whole-day for an intensive, or commit a small amount of time every week to pick up a new skill. It might prove more beneficial than whatever you were supposed to be working on anyway.
9. Update Your Resume
You may not even be thinking about applying for a new job, but it’s always a good idea to keep your resume as up-to-date as possible. Make sure you keep it as relevant as possible, by updating your latest educational attainment, or switching up your referees.
10. Plan A Holiday
It’s always better to over-prepare for big trips. Even if your next holiday is a year away, keep notes of the places you want to visit, or cities to stay. Otherwise, the time may come where you get to your destination, and have forgotten all the reasons you wanted to travel there.
11. Clean Out Your Inbox
Productivity experts say one of the worst ways to start your day is to check your emails. It can side-track you from all the tasks you set out to accomplish. However, if you are already procrastinating, sorting out your emails becomes one of the more productive tasks you can accomplish.
Taking care of your headspace is going to keep you more productive in the long-run, and may even help you get back on task sooner. If you notice your attention is waning, try a mindfulness task for a few minutes to get your back into the swing of things.
Do you accomplish any productive tasks while you procrastinate? Comment below.
Hi, I'm Kelsey! I'm studying a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Melbourne. In my spare time, I like to read, get distracted by YouTube videos, and browse Instagram all day long.