Top Forms Of Procrastination And How To Avoid Them...

 

1.)    First-off, everyone's favourite: Facebook

When you have work to do, suddenly the love-life of that girl from your Year 10 maths class seems unbelievably fascinating! Then again, in comparison to that 4,000 word essay you have to write for tomorrow, everything does. We've all been there. She's going out with that bloke you've never met? But wasn't she going out with that other guy with the silly hair? Suddenly you catch a glimpse of yourself in the reflection on the screen and think “What am I doing?” But sure enough, 10 minutes later after you've chosen and typed your essay title - well done you, you deserve a break! There you are again, scrolling aimlessly through your news-feed and dying of boredom. Ladies, hitting refresh won't make something interesting happen and it certainly won't write your essay for you. Log off, and stay off...easier said than done, I know. One idea which sometimes helps is to deactivate your Facebook. This is only temporary, but it does ensure that nothing can happen on your account for a while so you know you're not really missing anything. It helps, trust me!

2.)    Streaming programmes

 During first year exams, I managed to watch every single episode of Friends. On the one hand, I consider this to be a week well-spent as those shows are always classics and Chandler Bing is the love of my life. However, had I clicked off that dodgy streaming website and got some actual work done, I might have finished the year with a slightly more impressive grade. I would also have a faster, less virus-ridden laptop (oops). It's very easy during exam time, or when you have coursework to finish to find a sudden interest in a programme; a friend of mine claims the reason he failed his exams last semester was because “Dawson's Creek is such a good show...I just got hooked.” It's easily done, but resist! One way to resist the temptation is by going to the library; no-one likes the idiot that has taken up computer space to catch up on Downton Abbey.

3.)    Drinking

Going out the night before is never a good idea. Honestly. It seems smart at the time; after all everyone else is going, why shouldn't you? Besides, you'd only have spent that time in Krazyhouse sleeping, right? Wrong. Some of you might be reading this thinking: “What idiot would do that anyway?” Well, once again I did. And anyone who's ever had the mother of all hangovers will know that when you wake up at seven in the morning, with a head banging like a drum and a mouth as dry as Ghandi's flip-flop you do not care about your exam. Or your results. Or the holiday you booked for the re-sit period. You don't care about anything in the world except crawling back under the duvet and waiting for the world to stop spinning. Heed my warning and don't do it, just don't!

Another word of advice: never write coursework when you're hung-over. There's nothing worse than getting your work back and seeing a sentence like: “This proves that that this proves” underlined in red and circled, with a question mark. Damn you, post-vodka brain!

4.)    Food

Oh food, how I love thee. It's been said that the average student puts on around a stone in their first year at uni. Alongside the very important end of the night takeaway (which only the strongest-willed/least drunk ever resist), I'm sure many of you will agree that much of this weight gain is caused by those long romantic walks to the fridge you enjoy during revision. “I've been revising for ten minutes now” you'll tell yourself “I deserve another snack!” In this particular case, I'd be inclined to agree with procrastination brain, because food is awesome. However, if you are going to snack, snack smart! Buy food that'll actually boost your brain-power such as whole-grains, fish, blueberries, tomatoes, nuts...That way you can convince yourself that those food breaks are actually beneficial to your work-schedule. Everybody wins! But if you're like I was last year and unfortunate enough to live across the road from Dominoes, I wish you the best of luck.

Finally, don't forget to take a break every once in a while, and don't be too hard on yourself. You might have gathered from what you've read so far that personally I've never particularly struggled with over-working! But I know a lot of people who during exam time get a little bit...strange. Staying up until four in the morning staring at your laptop until your eyes burn and you forget what the sun looks like is not going to help you pass your exams. You're not a vampire, you need sleep and sunlight. And you do need to take the odd break every once in a while; it's been scientifically proven that both of these things are essential for helping your brain retain new information. So don't overdo it! If nothing else, it makes us slackers feel bad.