How to be productive with the worst cases of procrastination

Here are six ways to not regret wasting potential study time.


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The days leading up to finals tend to be the most stressful and also contain the most procrastination. Many students dread having to cram instead of actually studying for their big tests and papers. Rather than pushing through the homework-induced anxiety, one way to cope is avoiding it altogether. If you are going to be academically unproductive, you might as well use your procrastination wisely.

Re-energize the body

Getting the blood flowing is a great way to de-stress and also get yourself ready for another chunk of studying. Especially if you are having writer’s block or are stuck on a particular problem, stepping away from the desk and clearing your mind helps you better focus later on. If you’ve got the time, do a few laps around the building instead. Go to MizzouRec for an hour or one of the other many health-focused events held across campus, such as free yoga at Peace Park from 6-7 on Sundays.

Take a deep breath

If physical exercise isn’t your cup of tea, try relaxing your mind through calming strategies rather than energizing ones. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind from all of finals stresses. Don’t worry about trying to fit your schedule around a meditation class; there are plenty of free meditation websites and apps, such as Simple Habit — Meditation, that will lead you through the process. Or if you are really sleep-deprived, just take a nap. Don’t fall asleep for hours; a 90-minute snooze is perfect for your REM cycle, leaving you refreshed and ready to start again when you wake up.

Be adventurous

Although learning for class can be the cause of your procrastination, learning for fun could be the solution to it. Explore a new passion: go on Duolingo and start practicing a new language or get creative and try coding a video game. Learning because you want to learn is a great way to energize your mind for future studying and makes you a more well-rounded person in general.

Take advantage of MU

Campus has numerous free activities for students to attend throughout the week leading up to finals. After spending all day in Ellis Library, watch the free Wednesday night film at Memorial Union or go to the farmers market at Lowry Mall on Thursday. A stroll down the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail or throwing a frisbee at the Quad is a great way to enjoy the fast-approaching summer weather.

Indulge yourself

With finals week also comes the end of dining hall food if you have a meal plan. Be productive by using up any leftover meal swipes for Emporium Café ingredients and cook something special for yourself. Having a healthy diet is as important for getting good grades as studying and sleeping are. Use your procrastination break to whip up a fruit or vegetable-heavy meal for yourself and your friends.

Make a plan

If exam stress is starting to overwhelm you, try mapping out your situation. Make a schedule for what you need to do and when you can do it. Make sure you set your deadlines prior to the actual date so you have extra time to edit or more time to procrastinate.

Edited by Siena DeBolt |

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