How to procrastinate like a professional

Students in college often struggle to balance homework, social life and a healthy sleep schedule. Putting off homework until the last minute to hang out with friends is a major problem that lowers students’ overall GPA and does not allow for a healthy sleep cycle. Procrastination often forces students to stay up all night before a big paper is due or cram for a big test at the last minute. However, when done right, procrastination can actually help students balance their homework, social life and sleep schedule.

  1. Know what homework is due for the entire week. Write down all of your homework assignments at the beginning of each week so you have a visual of what you need to accomplish and when it needs to get done.
  1. Lie to yourself about due dates. Instead of writing down the actual due date of an assignment, write down the due date as one day earlier. This will give you plenty of buffer to put off homework. When you get to “the night before” it’s due, you will actually have twice as much time to finish the assignment so you won’t have to pull an all-nighter.
  1. Procrastinate in smaller increments. Instead of procrastinating a project for three weeks, work on it for one hour each week so that when the time comes for the final cram session, you don’t have to start from scratch. Already having an outline in your head of what you want to do will help you finish faster.
  1. Be organized so you can be spontaneous. If you know what homework you have due and slowly chip away at it bit by bit, it will be easier to say “yes” to midnight runs to McDonalds or a last minute concert with friends. Be organized so you can still do what you want to do socially but not be stuck writing a midterm paper the night before it’s due.
  1. Procrastinate on small assignments. If you wait to start a 15-page paper mere hours before the due date, you will inevitably be rushed and your thoughts won’t be as clear as they could be. Instead, work slowly on big projects and put off smaller assignments. It’s OK to wait to do a one-page algebra worksheet until the night before it’s due because it won’t take you as long as a 15-page paper would, and you don’t need to have an outline or research prepared for quick assignments.

Getting assignments turned in on time does not mean saying “no” to fun activities with friends. It also doesn’t mean you need to stay up all night the night before a big assignment is due. Use the steps above to help you procrastinate homework efficiently so you have enough time for friends and a healthy amount of sleep.