Productive Procrastination: The Art of Fueling Your Inner Study Machine

The Wisconsin wind howls outside, the bed is cozy and soft, and it takes an hour to exit your cocoon to use the bathroom. A quick phone check renders one missed call from Mom. Crap. It must be Sunday. If you just can’t muster the strength (or courage) to face that chemistry textbook, here are some productive ways to procrastinate on what needs to get done.

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1. Clean your room. It may sound lame, but if you blast the new Grizzly Bear album, and get down to it, then organizing that week’s clutter is a cleansing experience. Once everything is in its proper place, then focusing on other tasks will be easier.

Find new tunes to spice up your cleaning routine here.

2. Play a card game. Not only will it give you an excuse to hang with friends, but it requires significantly more mental activity than Facebook stalking your high school classmates. If you play for money, you could end up with a free Sunday dinner.

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3. Watch a TED talk. It may be part of the mindless internet bog, but it has many redeeming qualities pulling it out of the mire and into the productive realm. The site features talks from smart and engaging thinkers about what matters to them. Who knows? They could give you an idea for that paper due tomorrow.

Listen to these great talks by Steve Jobs, Brené Brown, and Andy Puddicombe.

4. Wander in Riverside Park. Despite what some claim, the city of Beloit is a beautiful place. If you make the effort to bundle up and venture off the campus you are bound to be rewarded by the sight of local fishermen, the calming flow of the Rock River, and the occasional slobbery but cute pit bull.

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5. Write a letter. Remember cousin Jack at U Madison whom the rest of your family disowned for smoking? That’s who you write to. Remember J.K. Rowling? Write to her too. Postsecret, your parents, Obama–just go for it. Everyone can use more snail mail in their life.

Watch this to learn how to fold your letters like a pro.

6. Make door art. Make it look better than your RA did. Grab some old magazines or last semester’s biology textbook. Make a collage and tape it up so people will know about the awesome person living inside.

Is your room one that people remember? If you want it to stand out for golf this Saturday night make sure you have more than this on your walls.

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7. Settle in at Bushel and Peck’s. Grab some books, your laptop, and plug into your iPod for the walk down. Once there, enjoy a just-sweet-enough latte served to you while sitting on a cozy couch by the fire. It’s almost like home!

Check out the menu here.

Leap out of bed, get crackin’ on the art of productive procrastination, and you’ll be refreshed and ready to do “real” work in no time.

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