Active Procrastination: What It Is and Why You Should Do It

For many college students everywhere you’ve just entered in the sixth week of classes which means midterms have begun! After realizing that I’m guessing most of you are feeling like this:


Or this:


And I’m right there with you! I have an exam on Thursday but here I am writing to tell others what they should do to better prepare for midterms. Buuuuuut, what I’m doing is exactly what I want to talk to you about today: active procrastination! How perfect?!

What is active procrastination you ask? Oh I’m so glad you did. Active procrastination is very different from the typical procrastination we have all come to know, passive procrastination. Passive is when you know you have stuff to do, haven’t done any of it, look at it piling up, freeze, sit down, cry, and pretend it’s alright.

That type of procrastination is bad and can cause anxiety, missed deadlines, and you to do poorly in school. On the other hand active procrastinators procrastinate just as much as passive ones do but can handle their time better and can actively put off work. This is the type of procrastination I have adopted since starting college and I want to share with you a few reasons why you should too!

You Won’t Have To Spend Hours In The Library

This is an important point to make between the two types of procrastination. If you’re currently a passive procrastinator then you probably have waited until the very last minute to do an assignment or study and have most likely had a panic attack about all the stuff you have to do. That’s not what an active procrastinator does.

Since active procrastinators have learned how to better manage their time they can accomplish some tasks here and some tasks there. Soon enough they realize they have opportunities to put off work without an immediate deadline and can go do something fun as a much needed break instead of pull an all-nighter at the library.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a room where my friends had their noses in their books and barely had two seconds to talk or grab a bite to eat because they are so stressed. If you become an active procrastinator, you’ll have the free time to get up and go do something else because the books can wait.

You Won’t Miss Out On Life

Have you ever heard any quotes by John Lennon? If not you should, here are some of my favorites, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” and, “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted at all.”

Ironically they can both mean the same thing to active and passive procrastinators, but the difference is how they manage their time. Sure a passive procrastinator can still waste time and not study and go out instead, but they will still have work to do when they get back. Compared with an active procrastinator who will have done some work and had the extra time available to waste or experience life without that nagging feeling in the back of their minds.

As I mentioned in my first post my favorite nights in college have not been when I spend an entire night at the library studying for some test that supposedly determines the kind of student I am. If that’s what you think college is all about I hope you really consider changing to an active procrastinator. Do not let studying take over your life because you will miss other fun moments. Put the books aside, trust in yourself, and come back to them once you have some rest and a clearer mindset.

Active Is Better For Your Health

According to an article in Psychology Today active procrastination can have health benefits. People who procrastinate actively are less avoidant, have lower stress levels, and have higher self-efficacy.

Boom! Lawyered! Wait, Scienced? No, I’m going with lawyered. (It’s a How I Met Your Mother reference) But science is telling you to adopt this form of procrastination because it will help your overall mood and mental health and those are two very important things to maintain while at college.

Now none of this is meant to influence you to not study at all because school is still important. My point was to make a clear distinction between active and passive procrastinators and why you should adopt an active style: for stress-free time away from the library, for not missing life experiences, and for better health.

I hope some of you are going to consider trying to become an active procrastinator, but, as with any change in life, it doesn’t happen over night. This will require better time dedication as well as higher self-confidence that you’re an intelligent person who’ll be able to get their stuff done in a timely manner while still enjoying the benefits of college and life.

What do you think? Can you make the change to an active lifestyle or be stuck in passive?


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