Written by Joyelle Ronan
I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t procrastinate. You already know this information because your professor told you two weeks ago when the assignment was announced. We’ve all been in this boat. The “this is due in two hours and I haven’t started yet” boat that crashes into the looming iceberg known as the due date.
If you’re going to procrastinate (which I don’t necessarily recommend,) there’s a right way to do it. Now that we’ve all made the shift to online classes, you may find it easier than ever to avoid doing work, but here are some ways to give in to the procrastination temptations and still survive the semester.
#1. Consider the Subject- If it’s your major or a subject that you’re pretty confident in, waiting until the night before the work is due may not be a problem. However, classes like INQs or something you’ve never taken before may require more time and effort. Give yourself some extra time to look up what you don’t know and maybe take a break for crying.
#2. Citation Situation- Writing a three-page paper in a few hours may be easy. Writing a three-page paper that requires six peer-reviewed sources from academic journals or books in a few hours? I’m getting secondhand stress just thinking about it. If you’re going to procrastinate on the paper, I would recommend at least finding your sources in advance. Plus, AI violations are not cute.
#3. Learn From Your Mistakes- It takes time to figure out how long it takes you to complete an assignment and thus how long you can, realistically, avoid it. There are a lot of factors at play here- type, class, length. Once you show up to class with 2.5 pages out of a 5-page assignment and no will to go on, you’ll know that next time, better start a few hours earlier. In the immortal words of Michael Scott, “You’ll learn, baby. You’ll learn.”
#4. Procrastinate Productively- I know this is an oxymoron but hear me out. If you’re putting off Chem homework, spend that procrastination time reading for English. No one said that you can’t be productive while you’re being unproductive. For every assignment that you don’t feel like doing, there is probably one that you really don’t feel like doing. Order your work from what you most feel like doing to what you least feel like doing.
#5. Timers and Reminders- I am probably the most annoying person ever because there is always a timer going off on my phone. I don’t know at what point I gave so much authority to an annoying ring but here we are. If you know an assignment will take three hours, set an alarm at the time so you know when you should start. It’s easy to pretend you can’t see the clock, but harder to avoid a sound reminding you that if you don’t start now, you’re going to fail.
Remember, don’t procrastinate harder, procrastinate smarter.