It’s Thursday afternoon, and I just cleaned my white leather Converse with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to avoid my reading assignment, yet I still have reading to do and less time for sleeping. Why do I do this to myself? As a senior in college, I have become very much aware of what I like to call procrastination traps, a.k.a. tasks that should take just a moment and then BAM! three hours have passed.
Although I may not be wise enough to stop myself from procrastinating, it does not have to be the same for you. Here is a list of five easy ways you could possibly fall into a procrastination trap and lose precious time. Hopefully they can help you realize what’s keeping you from completing everything from your to-do list.
1. The Episode Trap
Whether it’s your current Netflix obsession or the same show you have rewatched ninety-seven times, saying “just one more episode” is always a lie.
Four hours later, when you have finished two seasons and ran out of daylight, you will most likely say, “Welp, time for bed.” The best way to avoid this is to not even tempt yourself with Netflix or TV until after all of your to-do’s have been checked off. This can be a way to motivate you to get tasks done quicker.
2. The Clean Trap
Cleaning and organizing is never something you want to do, but, somehow, when paired with writing a paper, it becomes the more appealing option. Whether it’s deciding to rearrange your dorm, color-coordinate your closet, bleach the walls or count the tiles in your bathroom, these are clearly not priorities.
Although cleaning is more productive than Netflix binging, it still is a procrastination mechanism and a distraction from what actually needs to be done.
3. The Instagram Trap
We have all been to the dark depths of the ’gram. When it no longer says “posted one day ago,” or even just the month and day, you’ve entered into the Instagram Twilight Zone. You have gone too far. Please return home.
The best part about lurking through Instagram is that most of the time you end up finding some friend of a friend’s brother’s ex-girlfriend’s sister. (Or at least it’s someone you have no business stalking this deeply.) This is a big no-no and it often leads to trap number four.
4. The Refreshing Trap
You have looked at every Instagram post, you have seen every tweet, you have read your aunt’s Facebook status and there is nothing new to see, so you just keep switching between sites hoping for something to appear. Not only is this unproductive, it is #creeper status.
Don’t want to be caught giving the first like? You might as well get off social media and avoid the embarrassment.
5. The Snack Trap
You already had dinner, a granola bar and then a pint of Half Baked, but yes—maybe a snack is the key to getting into the zone and grinding out some work. WRONG.
You are not hungry, you have fallen into the fifth and final procrastination type. This trap is the worst because it wastes time, costs money, leads to weight gain and develops an unhealthy relationship with food. For me personally, when I say “just a snack,” it usually leads to a five-course meal and a Snapchat cooking series hosted by yours truly. Instead of a snack, get some water, sit at your desk and GET SHIT DONE.