Top excuses to tell yourself when procrastinating work

It’s hair wash day

Hello, expert procrastinator here! I don’t even have TikTok and I still manage to waste record-breaking amounts of time.

I am writing to you within a sea of unfinished packing and encroaching deadlines. I’ve got so much to do that, naturally, I decided to write a Tab article to distract us both from the realities of Cambridge Tripos. If this isn’t a strong enough credential to persuade you to read on, I don’t know what is.

I have compiled a list of the top excuses to tell yourself when procrastinating work in Cambridge. And, even better, none of them are even slightly related to tidying (although shoutout to my housemate Kate who conveniently procrastinates by cleaning our kitchen).

“In a few years, I won’t remember the essay I hadn’t in late but I will remember the good times I’ve shared with friends”

Ahh, the old classic. It’s a cheesy one, but it never fails! Having been told this by a real Cambridge graduate who has had enough time to forget the pain, I’m going to take it as bible.

Image credit: Libby Stone

It’s hair wash day

I’m just a girl, how can I possibly be expected to work on hair wash day?

“My highest scoring essays are not the ones I worked hardest on”

Speaking as someone who doesn’t actually get graded on their weekly essays, I have no idea if this is true. But, for the purpose of our procrastination exercise, I’m going to run with it.

Mental health.

No more needs to be said.

“It’s too cold to walk to the library, and I can’t concentrate in my room!”

Having gone from living 20 seconds to three whole minutes away from the library, this excuse has been my go to recently.

A rather ominous photo of the UL to remind you of how much you don’t want to go there (Image credit: Iris Tromans)

The pressure of the deadline hasn’t kicked in yet.

The real definition of delulu is assuming that your future self is going to magically achieve in a few hours what was meant to take weeks. But do I buy into it? Absolutely.

“I need to call my parents.”


(Mum, if you read this, I’m joking!)

“I need to call my grandparents.”

Really desperate.

(Grandma, you probably won’t read this…)

A task takes only as long as you leave for it

Let’s forget about the quality for now.

Image credit: Esther Knowles

“I’ve got plans in an hour so I might as well sit on my bed wasting time until then”

Watching the minutes change on your phone is a full time job!

“I need a break”

Doesn’t matter that yesterday was also my break day. And the day before and… let’s just leave it there, shall we?

Tab articles are calling you…

Whether that’s reading or writing, the Cambridge Tab is always here when you’re in need of a worthwhile distraction. Why do you think I agreed to be Editor-in-Chief?

Image credit: Esther Knowles

By the power invested in me by the Tab gods, I now pronounce you free to leave the library.

Apologies for planting poison in your minds but, if you want me to make up for it with some academic support, feel free to read my article from last year Essay tips from a Cambridge Humanities student.

Have a cup of tea first though. You deserve it.

Featured image credit: Esther Knowles

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