Uni Life

Productive Procrastination

Stop sign graffitied to read 'Stop Procrastinating'

Alice Gilbert postpones her uni work to talk about what you can achieve when you’re putting things off.

Stop sign graffitied to read 'Stop Procrastinating'

Ever found yourself flicking aimlessly through the channels on your TV despite the fact there is nothing good on? Or getting on Facebook for “just a few minutes” only to find you’ve been chatting with people for five hours? Or perhaps scrolling through endless blogs of cat GIFs at 1am? If not then congratulations – you’ve clearly got your life together and you don’t need to read on. For everyone else, here are a few ways you can turn that urge to procrastinate into a productive use of your time.


Cleaning can sometimes be a little bit like studying, in that it’s always preferable to do it some other time. But living in filth is only going to add to your frustration and make you feel less inclined to get anything else done. So wash those dishes that have been sitting in the sink for a week, untangle the extension cord of the vacuum cleaner and get cleaning!


It is well known that, as well as keeping you physically fit and healthy, exercising regularly will help improve brain function. So chuck on those joggers and go for a run, or go and play footy with some mates. Maybe you’ll find it helps you to concentrate better on that uni assignment.

Learn about something new

When you’re slogging away at the same kind of subject matter at uni for a long time, it can be refreshing to learn about something else. Watch the Discovery Channel and impress your friends with your knowledge of primate feeding habits. Or learn pi to fifty decimal places – when WON’T that come in handy?

Prettify things

Maybe you don’t feel like actually studying for that test, but you can still have some fun colour-coordinating all of your revision material. Get creative – throw in a few cute pictures into your summaries and use an excessive number of different coloured highlighters. It might even help you to learn all that info more easily, but if not at least it looks good!

Learn new skills

Take this opportunity to teach yourself how to knit, how to ride a unicycle, or how to play the theremin. Even if uni doesn’t work out you’ll always have a back-up talent to rely on to earn your keep.

Image: Lynn Friedman

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