Badvice: How to effectively procrastinate

By Ellie Cassie

The Oxford English Dictionary defines procrastination as “the action or habit of postponing or putting something off”. And yes. I did look up the exact definition as a means of procrastinating… rather than writing my article on procrastination.

As students who have voluntarily chosen to enter higher education and paid thousands of pounds for the privilege (*cough cough* we know who to blame for that!), it’s only rational that we should go to all means possible to avoid achieving anything of value with our time. You don’t want to write a boring essay about an old dead man and your tutor probably doesn’t want to read it. So instead, why not apply yourself to mastering the intricate art of procrastination?

Netflix, DVDs, video games, books (other than the ones you’re supposed to be reading, of course) – these are the essential tools of the trade. But the key to successful procrastination, is not to limit yourself. If you really put your mind to it you can do anything to get out of revision. Even cleaning the bathroom or paying the electricity bill can be used as methods of distracting yourself from work. Highly skilled procrastinators are able to waste hours by simply staring out of the window and watching the graceful sight of two seagulls attacking each other over a mouldy banana skin. For those who are just beginning their training, why not try avoiding doing work by writing a highly detailed and colour-coded ‘To Do’ list of all the work that you should be doing? That’ll be useful. Probably.

Of course you can’t avoid the inevitable for ever. But why wouldn’t you want to put it off for as long as possible? The inevitable is scary. It definitely won’t be as nice as watching the telly and eating biscuits. Which incidentally is what I have been doing for the past three weeks. We only live once after all so you may as well enjoy the limited time you have on this earth and it’s a universal truth that the ASSL is where dreams go to die.

Most of us will eventually reach the point where the pressure starts to become unbearable. But if you feel yourself thinking about opening your books… STOP! Repeat these calming mantras to yourself – “I can always wake up early tomorrow,” “I’d done less by this point last year” and last but not least, “I work better under pressure.” Then take three deep breaths and pull the duvet very slowly back over your head.

The truth is that everybody is guilty of running away from responsibility. I myself am writing this article on procrastination as a means of procrastinating. And I must say it’s going very well indeed. Even as I type this, that small irritating voice in the back of my head telling me to go to the library is getting fainter and fainter…

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