Hop on board the productivity train. Next stop: Procrastination Station.

Avoiding finishing that supervision work is just sometimes too tempting, writes Maverick Fraser.

Maverick Fraser

'An indispensable part' of procrastination is a trip to the shopping centre commons.wikimedia.org

Maximising productivity is the goal for all Cambridge students, and yet its inverse appears to be forevermore tempting. When you are sat with pen and paper in-front of you, the possibilities of what may be happening outside the library are truly endless. I think it’s most productive (see what I did there) to group our procrastination into different categories – it seems that not all procrastination methods are equal.

The Classic:

Social Media is a mainstay of modern day procrastination. The ability to observe other people’s lives through a Snapchat story magically transports you from the depths of the library for a solid ten seconds. Facebook gives us the mythical wonders of Ticketbridge, allowing us to mock people’s desperate attempts to secure Cindies tickets. And let us not forget, of course, the rabbit hole that is Youtube. I must admit, I once began by watching a short clip of a Wayne Rooney skill compilation, and ended with an entire episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Quite the accomplishment, if I do say so myself.

The Socialiser:

It’s a great characteristic to be a sociable person, but there’s no doubt that it can lead to some serious problems when it stands in the way of studying. Whilst it is highly convenient that the college library is often no more than a couple of minutes away from the bar and the JCR, it also creates the illusion that you will only spend said couple of minutes away from the more pressing task at hand. An hour later, and before you know it, a chocolate bar, a coffee, and maybe even a pint have been consumed. But then you are hit with the sudden realisation that you do, in fact, have studying to do. A marvellous method of procrastination, until that one instant in which you remember your academic duties must be completed.

'If you can sit down at a desk, and the first thing you do is begin to write your essay, then you deserve a pat on the back.'

The Wanderer:

Almost all colleges are in close proximity to a local supermarket, and some even have a full town centre at their disposal. Leaving the library to indulge in a free sample at Hotel Chocolat is an indispensable part of a ‘five-minute break’ in the Grand Arcade. According to my own undoubtedly scientific calculations, the more adventurous the wander, the more productive the procrastination. Why don’t you take yourself to the barbers for a haircut? Your fresh trim will most likely reinvigorate you for a distraction-less afternoon. It’s science!

But first…

But first. Many things have to be done before the book can be opened. It might be filing your worksheets, checking your pigeon hole, or even an obligatory opening of WhatsApp (just in case the group chat you muted six months ago has mentioned something vitally important). If you can sit down at a desk, and the first thing you do is begin to write your essay, then you deserve a pat on the back – maybe even a round of applause.


Mountain View

Tomorrow: the deadly siren song of procrastination

All in all, procrastination is a somewhat inevitable, even essential, part of student life. I think it may be time for us to recognise this inevitability so that we can use it to our advantage. Once we acknowledge that the learning process itself ought to be sandwiched between something we may consider amusing, we can begin to truly enjoy the time spent away from our work. We should not berate ourselves for spending an unpredictable amount of time away from studying. Perhaps those cool year 8s were right when way back in 2012 they broadcasted the remarkable four letter abbreviation: YOLO.