Top 10 things to do when procrastinating

Jacqueline LeBlanc

Entering my senior year, I promised myself I would no longer procrastinate.  It was time for me to buckle down and break the nasty habit of staying up until one in the morning to do my work. I would receive high test scores on my SATs along with actually knowing what was going on in AP Calculus all because I would do my work.
I would finish all my college and scholarship applications early and life would be a breeze because I would receive adequate amounts of sleep every night.
Yet, little did I know, senior year has become a mere showcase of my ugly procrastination habits I have been building for the past 18 years of my life. While I did manage to get mass amounts of sleep because I ended up not doing my work, I would often feel guilty and bored. Very bored.  If I was going to procrastinate then I at least wanted to do something that would take my mind off the fact that I was procrastinating.  And hence, this list was born.
So, I present unto you, the top 10 things to do while procrastinating.
10. Websurfing
Google can not only be your best friend for homework, but for procrastinating as well.  The beauty of Google is that it knows everything, and if cellular biology is not what you want to be Googling, then Google whatever you want to know, such as the history of Jersey Shore or Channing Tatum’s life.  Google searching can also lead you to sites like Wikipedia, which, in short, also knows everything and is indeed always right.  So, take a break from cellular biology or the history of macroeconomics, and procrastinate by researching what you really want to know.
9. Clean
Cleaning is something I do not do on a daily basis, and is in fact something I only do when I am desperately bored.  But the beautiful aspect about cleaning while procrastinating is the fact that it is productive, and it is an excuse to not do whatever you’re procrastinating from.  For example, at the beginning of the year my parents enrolled me into an online SAT preparatory class.  For at least four hours every Saturday and Sunday for a month I would sit at my computer and listen to my online teacher.  And the worst part was they assigned homework, lots of homework.  So, during the week when I sat down at the dinner table next to my mother to do my SAT homework that I didn’t feel like doing, I would tell her that instead I had to clean my room because, “it was becoming pretty messy.”  Not only was my mother pleased to hear that I was cleaning under my own jurisdiction, but also I had a clean room for a month.  It’s a win-win situation.
8. Online Shopping
Choosing to work at a department store was probably not the wisest decision I could have made because being tempted by the words ‘employee discount’ is not always very fun.  However,  it can be very enjoyable when being compared with calculus homework or my parents’ cries to study for the SAT.  And the beauty of online shopping is that you never have to leave your computer, creating the appearance of actually doing productive work.  And while I didn’t receive the most flattering grade on my calc test, I did have my new blazer, coffee mug and pair of boots to comfort me, and also the fact that since I was out of money, I could no longer procrastinate by online shopping.
7. Go through old stuff
When I was in elementary school, journaling was my thing.  Every day after I would get home from school I would write down whatever happened at school that day, and when I became too busy (lazy) to journal every day, I instead stored away different notes, pictures and keepsakes into time capsules.  I originally intended to keep my journals and time capsules stored away until I forgot about them, and I eventually did.  However, as I was scouring through my closet one day, searching for the graphing calculator I threw in there over the summer, I came across my journals collecting dust.  While I should’ve been studying for my calc test, I instead spent an hour and a half reading my elementary school journals.  Apparently, in third grade I liked to write love poems to some guy named Jacob, in fifth grade I experimented with vegetarianism for a week, and on July 21, 2009, I bought a pair of skinny jeans from Forever 21.  Interesting.
6. Youtube
Youtube is as godly a creation as Nutella and a perfect way to procrastinate.  I can only do my homework if I’m listening to music, and before I discovered Pandora, Youtube was my source.  At the time, I would routinely find and listen to Jesse McCartney, The Jonas Brothers or whatever was popular on Radio Disney (It was middle school, okay?).  And then one day I came across a video that my friend pointed out to me, Harry Potter Puppet Pals.  For hours, my sister and I reenacted the puppet show, belting out the melodic and steady beat of the characters and improving upon our British accents, which then led us to watch instructional videos on how to speak with a British accent.  While the videos I watched may have lessened my chances of ever having a British accent, it was a jolly good time.
5. Sleep
Studies show that not only does sleep keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of heart problems, but it also makes you smarter.  Napping makes you more alert, and improves memory, cognitive function and mood, according to  What’s better than effortlessly not doing any work and becoming progressively smarter and healthier at the same time? Nothing.
4. Twitter
It’s pretty obvious that Twitter was created by a pro-procrastinator.  Why would a person spend years developing a multimillion dollar website where it is socially acceptable to share posts with the world about what one is doing at that very moment, several times a day?
And why would anyone want to spend countless hours reading about what someone else ate for breakfast or frequent updates about what is currently happening on “The Bachelor”  and enjoy it?
3. Cook
I would be lying if I said I never got fat during finals week.  While my hard-working little sister is slaving over her math and history textbooks at her desk, I’m sitting in my basement searching for new recipes to try.  During finals last year, I made caramel popcorn from sugar and a brown paper bag, egg and cheese stuffed tomatoes and three different types of cake.  After all, no one should study on an empty stomach.
2. Pinterest
At first, the concept of Pinterest seemed really stupid.  Why would I spend my time ‘pinning’ various images to a virtual pinboard?  Because it is absolutely addicting, that’s why. I soon discovered that with Pinterest, I could combine all my favorite things: clothes, food and hot guys.  The competition between my pinboard and my anatomy textbook was no contest. Pinterest won.
1. Pretending to be productive
In reality I hate procrastinating, and unfortunately my days are often spent in a vicious cycle of procrastination, telling myself I still have time to do whatever it is that is not being done and overwhelming myself with furious bouts of panic, stress and fear.  Moral of the story: don’t procrastinate.  But if you are going to procrastinate, there’s a reason pretending to be productive tops all other activities: it usually leads to actually being productive.  And while it may not seem like it at the time, pretending to be productive by planning or organizing  or studying eventually turns into a reality of being productive, and that’s almost as good as not procrastinating.  Oh, the irony.
Happy procrastinating,
Jacqueline LeBlanc