How To Be Productive When You’re Procrastinating
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How To Be Productive When You’re Procrastinating

You’re Going To Procrastinate Anyway Why Not Do Something Worthwhile?

How To Be Productive When You’re Procrastinating

We all tend to live by the motto “If it’s not due tomorrow… Don’t do it today” when it comes to deadlines and responsibilities. We wait until the last possible minute, and stay up all night if we have to, despite the fact that we’re assigned these tasks weeks in advance. Who knows, maybe we work better under pressure...or maybe we just tell ourselves that to feel less guilty.

If I spend the entire day in bed watching TV rather than tackling my responsibilities, the guilt looms over my head like a soul consuming Dementor, an enjoyment sucking shadow reminding me I should be writing my ten page paper rather than binge watching Harry Potter. If I spend the entire day scrolling on my phone after I told myself I’d finish my Anthro Lab research, I feel useless and full of dread.

However, through years as a class A procrastinator pulling research papers out of the air the day before they're due, I’ve curated a foolproof way to feel less guilty wasting time and enjoying life. The trick is to do things that are productive in their own ways, things that involve getting off the couch, out of bed, off your phone, and into the world. After all, you’re going to put your responsibilities on hold anyway, so you might as well do enjoyable, productive things to reap the benefits of feeling accomplished.

Read A Book

I finally made it past page 100 in a book I’ve been working on for months, and I feel great! It’s the perfect way to spend your idle procrastination time and still feel like you’re learning or doing something to better yourself. It seems simple and technically can be done in bed or on the couch… but spice it up! Go to the park, sit outside enjoying the dying fall days and read that book that you’ve been procrastinating to finish.

Go For A Walk

This is my personal favorite, I love listening to music while I walk and disappear into my head. To me this is a time of inspiration and self reflection, and I always feel refreshed when I return from my walks. If I have a task I need to finish and I can’t stop thinking about it, because the guilt is overwhelming, this is when I brainstorm and organize my thoughts. It’s good exercise and a good way to relax and relieve yourself of mind consuming responsibilities.

Go To A Park, Museum, Or Gallery

Seriously, take your book to a park and relax. People watch, enjoy the scenery, and even take a notebook to write down any oncoming inspirations. You’ll feel like you’re getting something done even though you’re putting off your assignments. Museums and galleries are also great escapes from work, you’ll still feel like you’re learning something and doing something productive. At the end of a great museum visit, you’ll feel that warming, comforting sense of accomplishment even after successfully avoiding your work.

Make A To Do List Or Outline

If you absolutely must start your assignment because the guilt is too much, yet you don’t feel like actually starting it, make a list of tasks you need to complete or an outline of what you want to say in your paper. If I’m writing a research paper, I compile my sources ahead of time and make an outline of quotes I want to use and where. This helps me organize my thoughts and when I go to write the paper, it’s quick and easy, because I’ve already done the hard work. During crunch time it feels so incredibly relieving to have at least an outline done and there’s less panic the night before the due date when I start the paper. It’s a way to feel productive without 100% applying yourself… more time to procrastinate!

Create Art

Do something creative, buy patches and iron or sew them to your clothes. Paint funky designs with acrylics on your boots or bags. Draw people you see walking by while you’re at the park reading. Take lots and lots of pictures of anything that inspires you. Art distracts me from the overwhelming responsibilities we young adults deal with daily, and even though the things I create don’t look like Monet, they still make me feel accomplished and important.

It’s easy to be crushed by guilt from procrastination, yet we do it anyway because we’re constantly bombarded with responsibility and want to have time for ourselves. We literally have to talk ourselves into enjoying things because we have the shadow of guilt hanging heavy above us. As long as you get your work done and apply yourself, procrastinate away. Remember to do these productively fun things when you’re feeling like you shouldn’t be on your phone while your assignments await you. Be present, be productive, and reach for enjoyable experiences.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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