Oh, hello finals… I was hoping you’d forget to visit this year. Photo courtesy of DAEllis. Licensed under CC BY-2.0. So perhaps you are reading the title of this post and saying, “What is this business? Positive procrastination? Even though that is a witty alliteration, it is absolutely absurd. Procrastination could never be positive.”

Or perhaps you’re not thinking that at all and would like me to just get to the point of the article. And you all are just no fun at all.

Anyways, yes, positive procrastination. It does exist and I’m here to tell you how to do it the right way so that it can actually benefit the way that you study. I know, crazy, right? But so crazy… it just might work. We all know what procrastination is, but what is this “positive” procrastination? Well, believe it or not, there are some things you can do to procrastinate studying for finals that are actually going to benefit you in the long run, both in your studying and in your general finals wellbeing. What could these things possibly be?


Cleaning is the perfect thing to do while you’re procrastinating studying for exams. First of all, it lets your mind go basically blank. There’s not a whole lot of thought to cleaning. Dirty clothes on the floor. Pick them up and put them in the hamper. Unmade bed. Make it. Trash can is overflowing. Take it out. No more clean underwear. Do laundry. There’s no complicated analyzing needed for pouring detergent into the washer or for dumping your trashcan out. Your brain gets a rest while you’re still doing things that need to be done around your room. That’s the other added bonus. You get a brand-spankin’ new clean room.

Additionally, a clean and organized room will usually help you study better. A cluttered room is disorganized and will encroach in on your work and study area. Instead of doing half a semester-worth of reading for my Greek culture class, I organized the wires that kept flailing all over my desks. So now instead of thinking, “Ugh, I really wish those wires were there so I don’t have to keep staring at them,” I can just read along on my merry way without thinking about it.

There’s also a great sense of accomplishment that comes along with cleaning. You can see a physical change for the work you put into it. That’s not necessarily true with studying, which can get extremely frustrating when you feel like you’ve been studying for hours and yet you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. So take a break and clean up your room. I have lots and lots of tips on keeping your dorm room clean and organized so you should check them out.

Do Holiday Stuff

It’s the beginning of December, which means you should be buying and wrapping up your presents sometime in the near future. If you’re looking for something else to do instead of studying or writing that paper, take some time and figure out what you’re going to get everyone for the holidays. Take an hour or two to go out and get said things. It’ll get you out of your study environment and give you a well-deserved break from your hard studying.

Wrap your presents too if you manage to find some relatively inexpensive wrapping materials. Sit at your desk or on the floor of your dorm or wherever your preferable wrapping station is, turn on some holiday music, and get present stuff out of the way. You could even make a massive study break of it by inviting your friends over to have a wrapping party. Just like cleaning, you’ll see a physical and visual sign that you have actually accomplished something which will make you happier and if you’re happier, you’ll be more likely to get more studying done.

Wrap Up Loose Ends for the Semester

The end of the semester comes with its own set of responsibilities that don’t even have to do with exams. If you’re looking for another way to procrastinate, get all of this stuff out of the way and don’t leave it to the end of the exam period when you’re rushing to pack up the car or get to the airport.

Take your library books back to the library. Sell your text books back. Make that check out meeting with your resident advisor. Pick up your last paycheck. Start/continue/finish packing for winter break. Whatever else you need to do before you leave your dorm for a month, like emptying the fridge of whatever is rotting in there, do it as a study break.


Now that I’ve told you this grand list of things to help you to procrastinate, I do have to give you some words of caution. The only reason why these things function as “positive” procrastination is because they will end up benefiting your studying in the future, either by making you a cleaner work environment or just by giving your brain a break.

With that said, you should know that for these things to still remain positive, you have to balance times of procrastination with times of studying. If you spend five hours cleaning your room and wrapping presents, then these forms of procrastination won’t be positive. So use some self-control and limit the time you procrastinate.

These forms of procrastination are designed to give you a break and do something positive at the same time, not avoid your work all together.

What do you think of this idea of positive procrastination? Do you have any form of positive procrastination that you do during finals week?