10 Ways To Successfully Procrastinate

Procrastinate. Delay or postpone action; put off doing something.

Whether you have an exam coming up, or an important essay to hand it, it’s not uncommon to feel the urge to procrastinate.

Here are our top 10 ways to avoid studying!*


Binge watch


Whether you’re a true Netflix fan or Amazon Video is more your thing, there are always new tv shows online to get hooked onto.

Maybe you’d prefer to revisit an old favourite, rewatching Breaking Bad or indulging in a little season one Gossip Girl. Whatever your poison, make that bed-shaped grave and stew in it.


Feed your ego

Worried about where your life is going to take you? Questioning whether you really need to do this essay?

Not all successful people have a university degree! While you probably shouldn’t drop out just to avoid an exam or essay, you should certainly take some time to look up the plethora of successful men and women who didn’t pursue tertiary education.

Richard Branson, Anna Wintour, Sir Alan Sugar and even Oprah were all very successful without a degree. Just a thought to ease the pain of university stress.


Go munch


“I just need a little snack…”

Maybe you’re a cooking pro, or maybe you need to take a quick look at our Uni Cooking 1o1: The Basics to get you going. Either way, trying new recipes or having a go at experimenting with ingredients you’ve got in your cupboards can be fun!

Remember, eating balanced meals regularly will give you the essential nutrients needed for that all important brain power. Definitely useful work, not procrastination.


Do yoga


Mindfulness, meditation and stretching are great ways to relax the body and mind and allow yourself to focus. Check out a few yoga exercise videos on YouTube – or these awesome mindfulness tips for beginners.


Annoy your housemates


What better way to distract yourself than being a distraction to those you live with. Perhaps you actually need a little break, just going and chatting to your housemates is a good way to break your cycle. When you come back, you’ll have a fresh perspective on the work you’re doing.


Watch YouTube videos

Similar to social media, you can get lost in YouTube and the endless entertainment it provides.

A good place to start is The Late Late show’s carpool karaoke with James Corden for some laughter, celeb gossip and current music. Or perhaps you fancy learning a new, pointless skill? Get searching for that perfect tutorial.




“If I just take a 20 minute power nap, then i’ll be more alert to do some studying.”

Sleeping may not technically be an exercise or an activity, but it’s certainly something that we all enjoy. Science suggests that the perfect time to take a power nap is between 13:00 and 16:00 hours and it should last between 10 and 30 minutes. Any more and your brain thinks you’re taking a deep sleep; that’s when you wake up groggy!

On a more serious note, it’s important to get a really good night’s sleep before an exam, especially if it’s first thing the next morning.


Social media stalk

One of the biggest distractions when trying to do any work is your phone and social media. Start with your favourite social media platform and work your way around them all until you’ve seen everything recent – twice.

Within minutes you can be years deep into your ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend’s school photos. Just remember: don’t accidentally hit the like button!




“Before I can start, I need to do some washing. Then sort out my sock draw. Then clean up my desk so I have room to work!”

For some people, cleaning can be therapeutic; often, they can’t work in an untidy environment. Start by making your bed and then you won’t be tempted to slip beneath the sheets until the evening!


Make lists

According to procrastination researcher Timothy Pychyl, there’s a right way and a wrong way to write a “to-do list.” Do you often find yourself spending a while curating your to-do list to then feel like you’ve accomplished your day’s achievement?

Be quick and thorough with writing what you need to do, run through the list and working your way through, ticking off each task once complete. Now there’s the real sense of achievement, looking at a fully ticked list!

Have we missed other ways to procrastinate successfully? Let us know what worked for you!


*We in no way condone procrastination at the expense of your degree/work!

Rebecca Miller is a freelance multimedia journalist and graduate from Bournemouth University. You can check out her online portfolio here and find her on LinkedIn

Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate jobs agency.