We’ve all been there: you’re home, you’re comfortable, you’re ready for that English essay until…bam. The internet and your wandering cursor.
Procrastination comes in many forms under many names. Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, even cleaning your room seems like a more appealing option than a passage analysis of Macbeth. While procrastination can be deadly for your grades, it need not be deadly for your brain. Exit out of Facebook and the mindless stalking soon to ensue, and consider exploring some of these possibly more valuable options:
Their motto, “mentally stimulating diversions”, says it all. From geography to sports, to entertainment and science, Sporcle has a quiz for every inquisitive mind. And, if it doesn’t, you can make one to fit your own nerdy needs. While it has definitely inspired procrastination on my part, I owe my knowledge of all the countries in Africa, Europe, and South America to this lovely site, making my obvious gap in geography knowledge pleasantly satiated.
2. TED Talks
Unlike Sporcle’s five to ten minute quizzes, TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks require a twenty minute investment, but they are absolutely worth it. Not only will you learn something completely random and new, as topics and speakers are in the cutting edge of their fields, but you might get exposed to new career paths you never imagined.
Now, this might be approaching the danger zone bordering productive versus destructive procrastination, but it provides opportunities for an educational experience. You can tailor the interests you select to Stumble, and thereby expand your knowledge. Good interests to select: writing, education, books, Shakespeare, science, and many more.
Now, this might just shock you, but poetry is actually a wonderful way to procrastinate. Poems generally are short and sweet, and one of my favorite websites for this purpose is poets.org, which conveniently has links with categories of poems just for teenagers. Additionally, there are essays like this one by Carl Phillips that will immediately inspire intellectual curiosity, which should be the goal of schooling anyway.
Take a language? One of the best ways to practice (and procrastinate) is to find videos or music in that language, and Youtube and the internet have so much to offer. Music, videos, poems, and more are very easily accessible via the internet and therefore your language skills will increase.
Procrastination will not help you get your work done faster, but productive procrastination may just put you in the interested and engaged mindset needed to power through your homework just so you can get back to that TED talk on education, or that funny French video.