All Women's Talk

17 Productive Ways to Procrastinate during Finals Week ...

By Lyndsie

I'm a huge procrastinator. I always have been. Although I've been out of school for quite a while, I remember procrastinating before every essay, test, thesis, quiz, and final exam. I did it in high school, I did it in college, and I'm about to go back to school, where I will probably do it again because I haven't outgrown the tendency at all. Some of us simply cannot do the things we need to do until we're under pressure. If it works for you, go for it! At the same time, though, you can still procrastinate more productively as you think about preparing for finals.

Table of contents:

  1. Stop feeling so guilty
  2. Organize your notes
  3. Give yourself the bullets
  4. Plan out study time
  5. Try to put together a study group
  6. Annoy your prepared friends
  7. Rank your finals
  8. Identify your problem areas
  9. Sleep
  10. Eat
  11. Ask for help
  12. Talk to your teachers
  13. Set up blocks of time
  14. Don't feel bad for taking breaks
  15. Seriously, take another break
  16. Breathe
  17. Find something else you want to do even less

1 Stop Feeling so Guilty

It's natural to feel guilty about procrastinating because you know it's not great, exactly, but stop. The guiltier you feel, the harder it will be to start studying because you're creating this vicious, toxic cycle of guilt and procrastination.

2 Organize Your Notes

Use this time to get your notes organized. See if you're missing anything, rearrange them, rewrite them if you have to. Might as well get something productive done, right?

3 Give Yourself the Bullets

This is a busy-work task, technically, but it's also a way to productively procrastinate that will help your study. Give yourself the bullet points in any class, for any exam. Streamline your study materials into easily digestible bites.

4 Plan out Study Time

You know it's going to be coming down to the wire, so take the time to plan out your study time. Trust me, this will come in handy.

5 Try to Put Together a Study Group

Your friends can motivate you, plus you're accountable to other people. You don't want to be the jerkface who disrupts the study group, so this might actually curb your procrastination habit.

6 Annoy Your Prepared Friends

You can annoy them to study with you, to share notes, or to share study tips. Let them know what's going on and see what they can offer.

7 Rank Your Finals

What's easy? What's hard? Which exams are multiple choice, which ones are essay tests?

8 Identify Your Problem Areas

Ranking your finals will help you identify the classes that give you the most trouble. Those deserve a little more study time.

9 Sleep

If you're already procrastinating, you might as well catch up on your sleep. At least then you'll be well-rested when you start taking your finals … or when you cram the night before. Whichever.

10 Eat

Same. Don't mindlessly snack on unhealthy foods that might make you tired. Start eating your brain food.

11 Ask for Help

SERIOUSLY. If the procrastination problem gets too big, ask for help.

12 Talk to Your Teachers

I don't know if I'd tell your teachers that you're procrastinating, but you can certainly ask questions about the upcoming exams.

13 Set up Blocks of Time

Set up time for studying, study breaks, and procrastination breaks during your study periods. Be proactive because you know you'll need them.

14 Don't Feel Bad for Taking Breaks

And don't feel bad when you do take breaks. You need them, your brain needs them, it's okay to relax in between study sessions.

15 Seriously, Take Another Break

For real. Breaks are okay, as long as you're studying, too.

16 Breathe

Breathe in deep. Exhale. Keep it up. You got this.

17 Find Something else You Want to do Even Less

If all else fails and you can't stop procrastinating, find a task that you dislike even more than studying and taking tests. While you're busy not doing it, you can study!

Do you procrastinate when you need to study or prepare? How do you cope?

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