How to Procrastinate Properly: The Art of Study Breaks
Let’s be honest: it is difficult to not procrastinate during exam season.
“My exam is on Monday! I don’t have to study really until Friday.”
BOOM it is Sunday night.
However, I am not just writing this blog to say, “don’t procrastinate.” If that advice actually worked, you probably would not be reading this right now (although thank you for being so awesome, dear reader).
When school overwhelms me, I do not want to focus on the impending final exam. Even when I am studying, all I think about is “oh my gosh, I hope this is not on the exam,” or “when in the world was that talked about in class?” The complete uncertainty of exams is so daunting sometimes that to “planning to study” is really more planning than studying.
And so, as a fellow procrastinator, I understand the appeal of playing that “one” round of Candy Crush or watching a ”few” Meryl Streep YouTube videos before you “officially” start your studying time. I mean really, they only take like five minutes, right? Until, that is you do five in a row and WHAM! You are down half an hour in study time. Seriously people, when those Buzzfeed Quizzes convince you that you should really be majoring in Defense Against the Dark Arts instead of History, you know you have a problem.
Therefore, telling yourself “I will do it tomorrow” may sometimes feel like the easy way out. Yet, at the end of the day (literally), this mentality is a self-defeating and self-fulfilling prophecy.
Although I know the myth that chronic procrastinators are lazy or apathetic is just not true, I know for the procrastinator it can sure feel like it. In fact, most of the self-proclaimed procrastinators I know actually care a lot about school and their exams. Ironically enough, the importance I place on school makes me actually procrastinate more.
Why? Well, procrastination is often a manifestation of anxiety.
“So what’s the solution to procrastination Haley?” you may ask.
For me, I find that the art of timed study breaks can help alleviate stress and improve productivity. Whether it is playing with a stress ball for five minutes (they are extremely easy to make) or just standing up and walking around your kitchen – these can be really relaxing activities which can not only help you to de-stress but also get you back on track in your studying
By the way, by ‘study break’ I don’t mean going online or texting your friend (because most likely you will be texting about your upcoming exam!). I am talking about timed breaks which require you to unplug and be away from your screen or textbook for a few moments. You might be surprised at how productive they can be to your overall studying schedule.
So what are you waiting for? Schedule your next study break right now, and get your mind out of the “oh my I am going to fail this exam” paradigm.
And that my peers is the true art of proper procrastination.
Hope it helps,
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