Productive Time Wasters: A Guide to Efficient Procrastinationby Jaemie Paraon on Feb, 24 2012
I must be joking, right? Productive time wasters? Efficient procrastination? You’ve probably never heard of anything more oxymoronic. Are there really ways to avoid doing homework, yet still manage to accomplish something? For those skeptics out there, I’m here to tell you that it is indeed possible. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.
Clean out your inbox
There is no reason for you to have 2,047 e-mails in your inbox, and if you do, I think it’s time to familiarize yourself with the trusty trash can icon at the top of the page. I understand that we Berkeley students receive and send dozens of e-mails a day, but I really don’t see the need to save every single message that comes our way. E-mails regarding upcoming assignment deadlines, extended office hours, internship and other work opportunities—go ahead and keep them. Star them, mark them as important—do as you wish. But go on and delete those annoying notifications saying that someone commented on your post on Facebook (you know you can turn those off, right?) or that someone just started following you on Twitter. Please don’t be afraid to erase an e-mail dated September 12, 2009; 9 times out of 10, the contents of that message won’t be relevant to you anymore. It may take a while to unclutter your inbox—2,047 e-mails should take about an hour or so—but you’re wasting time, remember?
Clean your room
So you’ve successfully cleaned out your inbox and avoided being featured in Hoarders: E-Mail Edition. But why stop there? Why limit yourself to the digital world? Take it one step further, and clean your room. You’re going to have to do it sometime, unless you want to live in a pigsty. Make your bed, vacuum the floor, fold the laundry you did three days ago—just do it. Actually place your textbooks on the shelves (that’s what they’re there for) instead of leaving them scattered on the floor where your poor roommate may trip over them, and let me just tell you—a little bit of Febreze can go a long way.
Call your mother
I love my mom. She’s not a waste of time. So if you’re reading this right now, Ma, I’m sorry. I love you, I love talking to you, and please put more money on my debit card. But really, call your mother. Chances are, she was already thinking of calling you herself, but if you take the initiative and reach out to her first, she’ll be a much happier woman. It doesn’t have to be a particularly long conversation (how much time do you really want to waste?), but letting the woman who gave birth to you know that you’re alive and well is a great way to pass the hours. Let her know about the A you received on your most recent midterm; she’ll be ecstatic. Rant to her about your professor who’d much rather teach trivia than Economics; she’ll be sympathetic. Whether you’re gushing about all the good stuff happening to you or complaining about all the crap coming your way, Mama’s there to listen. She’s just glad she can hear her baby’s voice.
Plan, plan, plan
So you just got off the phone with Mother Dearest, but you’re still not quite ready to tackle the pile of work neatly (you cleaned your room, remember?) sitting atop your desk. You know you have a ton of pages to read for History, a paper to write for Poli Sci, some exercises due for French, and maybe something else. You’re not quite sure though. Sounds like it’s time for you to make a plan. Being a compulsive planner myself, this is personally one of my favorite ways to productively waste time. Grab a calendar, virtual or not, and fill it in with the different deadlines you need to meet. Figure out what exactly you must do for each class, and block out chunks of time when you can get it done. Pencil in a lunch or coffee date with someone here and there, make note of someone’s birthday, and once you’re done, admire your gorgeous schedule. Smile because you’ve finally got your sh*t together, and keep smiling, at least until you realize that you have three midterms in the next twenty-six hours. Good luck.
I know you just made your bed for the first time this semester, but go ahead and dishevel it once more. It’s time to reward yourself with a power nap. I’m not saying you should go into hibernation and sleep for days—being awake is good—but maybe it’s time that getting an adequate amount of sleep becomes a priority. Catch up on those Z’s, and get rid of those eye bags—concealer can only do so much. You have my permission to collapse onto your mattress and get a little shuteye. Venture into dreamland, enjoy your peaceful slumber, and remember that Disney’s Princess Aurora is called “Sleeping Beauty” for a reason.
Congratulations. You’ve reached the end of this blog post. Estimated time wasted: approximately two minutes.