Few skills are as undervalued as procrastination. My editor-in-chief, for example, wrote about ways to avoid procrastination, but ignored the possible benefits of academic procrastination.
Though starting with a clear definition of procrastination could be useful, I will save that for the end of the article. I think maybe, that instead, we might think about ways procrastination could be useful when deadlines are getting closer.
Tip the First: Exercise
It can be difficult to remain or get in shape when we have assignments to complete. It is frustrating to realize that all that time we didn’t spend reading could have been used to improve our cardio. The solution is to go to the Fortin Fitness Center.
There, one may spend time on a bike or elliptical, or join one of the fitness classes offered there. This way, homework can be put on hold while taking in some endorphins from exercise. If we’re really ambitious, we could take a magazine or other light reading along to avoid assigned reading two ways at once.
Tip the Second: Cleaning
Like exercise, cleaning is an activity we college students put off, but it’s a useful tool for effective procrastination. We could wash the dishes, tidy the shelves, make the bed, vacuum the floors and do little housekeeping chores to avoid that lengthy essay. This way, our procrastination could satisfy us with a clean living space.
Tip the Third: Television and the Internet
TV and the internet are also excellent tools for procrastination. Blogs, especially, offer interesting and often useful tidbits of information to help pass the time spent avoiding homework.
A blog I read, for example, is by The Bloggess who writes about her life as a woman, writer, and “stuffed animal” collector. And by that I mean she collects unusual taxidermy pieces.
Tip the Fourth: Puzzles and Analogue Games
Games, especially puzzles and brain-games, are excellent ways to procrastinate while doing something good for your brain that isn’t homework. This way, time spent procrastinating can be spent building brain powers that could be useful for future academic projects.
Tip the Fifth: Other Writing/Reading
We students who do like to read and write (when it’s not for class) have another option for procrastination: exploring the world of literature. We could probably read any number of popular books in place of those assigned pages, and avoid tough, scary writers like Eliot.
Alternatively, writers can write blogs, essays, or other works (entire novels, even) about procrastination and its function in society, as a way to put off writing three pages for class.
Now, I suppose I should define exactly what procrastination is, but I think I’ll wait in case I can possibly, potentially, perhaps do a better job the next time I write about procrastination.