Top ten tips for procrastination


Katherine Burch
Wednesday 25 July 2012 09:20

Procrastination is not just the avoidance of essential, dull everyday tasks such as essay writing or washing. For students it is an art form to be carefully cultivated.

As any good student already knows, to learn to whistle every song in the UK top 40 or scour the internet for cute animals in fancy dress is unquestionably the most valuable use of their time.

Sometimes though, you need a little help. These ten tips will help you put that essay off in the most imaginative ways.

Make a set of business cards with meaningless titles

Today you could be a Freelance Executive Management Administrator, whilst tomorrow a Senior Director of Philosophy. Then give them out to new acquaintances who will be impressed with your high status job (and hopefully never ask what you do).

Glue a pound coin to the pavement outside your house...

...and count the number of people who attempt to prise it from the ground. Include yourself if you want the pound back.

Take part in Hallway jousting

An epic tournament in which two opposing teams will fight to the finish... or at least until boredom kicks in. A game for four people. Take two wheelie chairs with one player sat on the chair and the other pushing the chair. Place chairs at opposite ends of hallway, pick up the jousting tool (three cardboard kitchen roll centres sticky taped vertically on top of each other will be ample). Then wheel the chairs towards each other with the aim of breaking the other’s jousting tool, continue until one team’s jousting tool is demolished.


Learn to memorise the alphabet backwards, a fine skill that every student, nay every person, should possess. It may even come in useful; unlikely but not impossible.

Create a room-sized Camera Obscura

For those times when looking out the window is simply not good enough. This almost magical invention projects a moving image of the outside world on to your walls, a little like a film in a cinema (without the sound effects, or a plot). The simplicity of such a seemingly complex creation will never fail to amaze you and your friends. See this website for instructions.

Have a YouTube marathon

A crucial task for students, this can provide hours or even days’ worth of procrastination. Watch humorous videos that last only a matter of minutes so even those with the shortest attention span can keep interested. Jenna Marbles or Smosh are good places for newbies to start the search for short funny videos.

Melon bowling

Essentially bowling - but with a melon. You will need a melon and ten empty bottles. Arrange bottles in the tenpin format and bowl soft fruit at them. Replace fruit as it breaks. A note for those in student accommodation: this is not deposit-friendly.

Supermarket trolley races

As many teams of two that can procure trolleys can take part. One team member sits in the trolley whilst their teammate pushes them as fast as possible with the aim of beating the opposing teams to a finish line. Just remember to return the trolleys to your supermarket, as otherwise it won’t seem so amusing the following week when you have to juggle a week’s shopping in your arms going round the aisles.

Learn all the words to Whitney Houston’s version of Dolly Parton’s song ‘I Will Always Love You’...

...and serenade people outside your window. Unfortunately they may not always love you and your singing in return.

Do nothing

The most difficult yet admirable form of procrastination. It can often take months to perfect; the ability to sit, stand or lie with no purpose, no thought and no end product.

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