Productive Procrastination: 8 Ways to Recharge Your Personal Battery

Do you ever find yourself getting so much more done when you have a paper due that night: laundry, running errands, textbook readings that seemed so hard to get through a week ago? And when you finally get around to writing that paper, you somehow end up on Instagram instead? I’m with you too. Post midterm round two has me especially unproductive. For the past few days, I’ve caught myself constantly checking Snapchat for new notifications, scrolling aimlessly through my Instagram feed, or even resorting to refreshing my email every five minutes. 

Fortunately, my time lost is your time gained! Instead of procrastinating by occupying yourself with secondary tasks, you can engage in ventures that will keep you distracted in the moment, but simultaneously help you unwind and recharge. Though I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to check off every single box from your to-do list, I can suggest a few activities that will help you recharge and ready to start again. From napping to making origami, you might just find yourself accomplishing more than you had expected.

  1. 1. Journal

    William Wordsworth said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” Bearing that in mind, I recently started bullet journaling and was so upset that I hadn’t discovered this new avenue earlier. Spilling out your thoughts for a few minutes can help you clear your mind and start anew–and you’d be surprised how many “breathings” you have in your heart. I highly encourage you to incorporate journaling into your daily life because it can truly become your little safe zone for personal reflection, healing, and growth. 

  2. 2. Stick to the “Two Minute Rule”

    Those of you who are chronic procrastinators should definitely utilize the two minute rule. This rule essentially proposes that if you know a task takes you less than two minutes, you should complete it as soon as possible before moving on to heavier, bigger tasks. In this way, you won’t be distracted by the smaller responsibilities that’ll weigh you down throughout the day. Clouding your mind with the smaller tasks will prevent you from putting 100% of your time and energy towards tackling bigger things.

  3. 3. Clean your room

    I feel like a mom writing about room cleaning, but such a tedious task can truly be valuable. Not only is it a healthy habit, but cleaning your room can also physically declutter your space and mentally declutter your mind. In addition, shifting your focus from the cluttered words on the page of your GoogleDoc to a simple, mundane task can help de-stress and recharge. 

  4. 4. Try embracing something new

    Play the piano in your community dorm; take a hike; practice yoga or meditation; make a snack; do some sit-ups–do something other than writing that freakin’ paper. Taking breaks between work can increase productivity by encouraging positive mood and keeping you motivated throughout the day.

  5. 5. Make some origami

    During my senior year trip to Disney, I impulsively bought a packet of colorful origami papers from Epcot. Initially, I regretted making that decision; however, after I started investing time into folding them, I realized how gratifying and stress relieving practicing origami can be. Not only is it gratifying and refreshing, it’s also simple, affordable, and portable. As all English teachers say, we have to get our creative juices flowing, right?

  6. 6. Call a friend

    Catch up with them, ask them what they’re up to! Simply conversing with someone can keep your mind off the stress that is accumulating from thinking about all the things you have to accomplish. That’s why calling a friend or even your family just to chit chat can be incredibly rewarding and even motivating if they’re doing work and you’re not…(tea). Friends radiate good energy, so it’s always worthwhile to spare a few minutes (or hours) calling a friend.

  7. 7. Take a nap

    Yes! Take a nap! I totally get it when your eyes are aching and your mind is bleeding from writing that dreaded paper. Never underestimate the power of naps as they can undoubtedly help you rejuvenate and feel energized. You should never feel guilty about napping–your body will thank you for that extra hour of sleep.

  8. 8. Finally, HYDRATE!!!

    Hydrate or diedrate because life is truly a hydration game.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's start grinding on those papers!