How to Procrastinate in the Library

With exams and essay deadlines so close, now is the time to perfect your procrastination techniques.

Exeter students library Procrastination revision

Finally, the end of term is in sight. Far from being the week of video watching/board game playing/colouring-by numbers which we were treated to when we were younger, the majority of us are faced with at least 4 gruelling deadlines and the knowledge that revision is just around the corner. But we are university students, and, as everyone knows, this means that, however good our potential to do the work may be, our ability to procrastinate from doing it is even greater. In fact, trying to avoid the terrifying, guilt-inducing pile of work only increases our creativity; if there is a chance to put it off for another hour, we will seize it.

 No conversation is too menial, no task too pointless; now is clearly the time to sharpen every pencil you own, arrange the items on your desk in alphabetical order, fill in that on-line questionnaire about your Amazon experience. Our unique ability to find anything and everything to delay working is something that should be celebrated, for, as everyone knows, it takes a lot of energy and effort to put off writing that life-changing essay.

1. Social Media

It’s the obvious one, but the one which we are all most guilty of.  The fact that no-one has posted a Facebook status in at least 5 hours is completely besides the point, and no, it does not matter that you’ve got to the stage where even your Twitter newsfeed can’t update as fast as you’re refreshing it either.

You simply cannot close it down and focus on your essay; anything could happen whilst you are gone. It definitely makes much more sense to stay right where you are, keep hitting refresh, and, if you’re lucky, read other people’s tweets about how much they don’t want to write their essay either. It is the perfect way to kill several hours without doing a single bit of work.

The ultimate procrastination method.

 2. Thinking about doing your work.

This method is practically condoned by lecturers, who are thoughtful enough to constantly encourage us to plan our work carefully before we start writing.  This quite clearly translates to sitting at your desk for at least 3 hours, simply pondering what you’re going to write. Ok, not pondering, panicking. A lot.

In fact, panicking about the amount of work you have to do and how you are going to get it all done on time takes up such a great deal of emotional energy, that you really are in no state to actually write the essay once you’ve experienced such trauma. However, once you’ve realised this, such an epiphany is likely to only lead you to panic more, causing such an incredibly vicious cycle that almost a whole day can pass by without a single productive thing being done, with the only thing to show for it is an increased blood pressure and your first grey hair.

The deep, pondering look favoured by all experienced procrastinators.

 3. Lunch

An excursion to the market place is a great way to procrastinate: you can stop off and admire all the boiled sweets and jam hampers you can find on your way to the sandwich aisle; make the incredibly important decision over which ridiculously over-priced baguette to buy; and, of course, queue for at least 10 minutes whilst the person in front of you does their weekly shop and pays for it using their copper coin collection.

All this time can be wasted before you’ve even eaten anything yet! Even more minutes can be whiled away eating lunch at the slowest rate possible, and when combined with a trip to get a coffee, where you just happen to find someone-who-you-have-definitely-met-somewhere-before to chat to, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ve successfully waved goodbye to a solid chunk of work time. But it was all worth it that top quality £3.55 sandwich.

A haven of time-wasting.

 4. Explore the library

As you’re in one of our university’s greatest selling points, you might as well enjoy it. Go and play with the library catalogue to look up the code’s for the 30 books you will never actually read. You could even go and actually find the books too if you really want to up your game, especially if they are dotted about on different floors. Try out one of the delightful coffees the machine has to offer, engage a member of staff in a conversation about the Dewey Decimal system. The library is filled with endless procrastination possibilities, but you can only discover them if you leave your essay alone and go out and seek them. 

Actually working in the library is just SO A-level.