Ask Evergreen is a weekly advice column by the students of The Lumberjack
How do I productively procrastinate?
Dear productive procrastinator,
It’s about that time in the semester where many of us students hit our wall and feel the need to distract ourselves from our priorities. Don’t get comfortable in this phase—we still have eight more weeks of school left. There are a few things you can try to motivate yourself to work more and to keep you focused while still keeping some time to decompress.
Stay organized and prioritize your work. You can try to create daily to-do lists. If you can visualize what you have to do, you might have more motivation to get the little things done before tackling your bigger assignments.
Set realistic goals for yourself that you know you can complete. Chip away at your work bit by bit. You’re less likely to get overwhelmed. Read the required chapters for your classes one at a time and take breaks when you feel the need, but only after getting through a good chunk first.
Study with a purpose. Set aside your phone or just shut it off completely so you don’t get distracted with notifications. Power through the work you have without putting things off. You’ll feel much more relieved and relaxed in your free time if you get your responsibilities out of the way first.
If you really don’t feel persuaded to work after these tips, you can try productively procrastinating in other ways.
Tidy up your house while you put off contributing to a group project. Do the dishes while you think of how to start a report that’s due in a week. Scrub your toilet bowl and strategize your study plan for an upcoming midterm.
Allow yourself to have some time away from your school responsibilities before you buckle down and get to work. This will help you refresh your brain, giving you a better mindset to work with, while also hopefully kick-starting some brainstorming.
As long as you aren’t staring at a wall watching paint dry, you’re bound to be doing something productive while you put off your priorities.
I believe in you!
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