Everything all pro procrastinators know

There is no student on Earth who hasn’t procrastinated at least 97% of all their work commitments at one time or another. Some have genuine reasons, but me? I have excuses. Nobody really has to do all the reading before a seminar. That book can wait to be read until you’ve had dinner, and watched TV, and had a rest under the warmth of a blanket. And before you know it, it’s 2 am, you’re groggy, and the night’s been wasted. If I’m honest, though, procrastinating like that is amateur, here’s how the pro procrastinators do it.

A Day in the life of a pro:

With all the reading and essays students are given, it’s so important that we get on with it ASAP. That’s why, every morning, I sit at my desk and organise the day ahead. But then my phone buzzes. It’s the Social Sec of the generic sports team I’m captain of, and she needs help with organising an event. Something about all the pizzas she’s ordered being delivered to Birmingham, Alabama, rather than Birmingham, UK. Work can wait; this is urgent.

By 1 pm, I’m done. It took a lot longer to reroute those pizzas, and three hours of sitting down have taken their toll on my back. I dig out my gym card and decide to go for a swim to wake myself up. I may as well put in a workout on my upper body, too, since I’ve been slacking lately. And you know what? I’ll treat myself to a sauna and shower when I’m done because everyone knows that heat is fundamental to a good warm-down.

God, is it already 4 pm? I’m passing Aldi on the way home, so I may as well do my weekly shop before it gets too dark. Then I won’t have any distractions when I plough through all these books later.

An hour and a half later, I’m finally home. Turns out, everyone had the same idea as me, so Aldi was chocker. Now all this food on my shelf in the fridge is staring at me, and I’m really working up an appetite, so I’m just going to make dinner now. Actually, I’ve got a lot of chicken here, so I may as well cook enough for the rest of the week. Having my food prepped and ready each night is going to make me so productive. While I cook, I think I’ll stick on the third Harry Potter. I’m studying The Prisoner of Azkaban for my Fantasy module, and I’m pretty sure that watching Daniel Radcliffe dispel the Dementors again will definitely help me to understand the book better.

It’s gone 9 pm by the time that’s finished. The food’s been served and stored, Harry’s saved the day, and I’m fully aware that it’ll take at least 3 hours to get through the reading I had planned for today. I don’t really fancy getting into bed gone midnight, but I don’t want to waste the night watching mind-numbing TV. What doesn’t take three hours to do, but keeps me productive?

Cleaning the entire house, of course.

I pull on a pair of washing-up gloves, fill a bucket full of soapy water, and deep clean every nook and cranny. The bathroom sparkles so vividly, I swear you could eat off the toilet. It actually took a lot longer than 3 hours, and I only just got into bed at 2:30 am, but at least I got lots done today. Reading might’ve been on the backburner, but I’ll get it done tomorrow for sure.

What a productive day!

What a dangerous day!

Productive procrastination is the best and worst way to waste away the day. On the one hand, you ticked off lots on your to-do list. The house is so clean it actually hurts to look at, your biceps are bulging from your workout, and the weekly shop is done. You won’t have to worry about cooking for the rest of the week, and in all fairness seeing Sirius Black’s face on the small screen did give you sudden inspiration for your essay. But let’s be real: you’re no closer to finishing uni work than you were at the start of the day. Worse still, you’re under the impression of having worked really hard, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

You’ll commit to getting on top of uni tomorrow, but we all know that there are a billion things you’d rather do.

Productive procrastination is a deadly temptation.

Josh Hamilton

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