Just do it…later, top 11 ways that procrastination can hit you this exam block

Ah, procrastination. As any post secondary educated student can state, I know you too well. In fact, procrastination may just be the archetypal nemesis to the burgeoning medical student: it’s the Hook to our Pan, Newman to our Jerry, Ahab to our Moby Dick (yes, I’m on the whale’s side here…whaling is a terrible industry), Gary Oak to our Ash Ketchum…etc. Locked in the eternal struggle between future versus present payout, no greater do we grapple with the Spectre of Procrastination when exams come looming in.

Usually this is because previously we’ve (I know, I know, HUGE generalization here, but whatever, it’s my post) procrastinated the previous few weeks away right already. But regardless, even at the 11th hour, the unyielding desire for personal freedom breaks through the mantle of discipline and we find ways to veer off task.

Now since there’s an upcoming Repro exam and assignment for the 2nd years and the final exam week for the 1st years,  I’ve decided to create my top 11 ways to procrastination can hit you (read, has hit me) this exam season.

11) Updating your CV.

We all do this right? Not just me here right? Okay good. Because the old resume (or résumé) can always use an updating…afterall, it’s an investment into your future…just like studying would be anyhow.

10) Finding out the latest in celebrity gossip

Because screw what ever big events are happening elsewhere across the country, Lindsay is going back to rehab or Ryan Gosling has done another act of heroism. Med students are in a bubble too much anyhow, so hearing more of the outside world is a good thing..right?

9) Youtube

This one’s fairly obvious, I mean, you can find pretty much any content your heart desires to glue you to the screen. Whether it’s the latest, most horrible parody of Gangnam Style, or finding out someone has uploaded all 9 seasons of Scrubs (serious, check it out), or 10 hours of Nyan Cat (in HD), you can definitely whittle away the hours there.

9) Catching up on your favorite TV series

The Walking Dead, Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, The Office…pick your poison, the list goes on and on. It doesn’t even have to be a current TV show, with many avenues for *legal* streams of old series, you can even catch up on your favorite shows of the past, or discover  ones you never knew were gold before (another push for Scrubs).

8) Clearing through your inbox

Because nothing says time management or priorities, like reading and archiving 1000+ unread messages in your email the night before a block final.

7) Getting onto an online argument

Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the differance.” Obviously old Mark didn’t factor in the Internet, because when that phone rings, you must pick up.

6) Cleaning/Laundry/Exercising

This is a tricky one, because you don’t realize you’re procrastinating. Clearly you’re doing something productive, something that’s been on the to-do list for a while now as well. So that should be okay right? Well, you may have stepped into the realm of “meta-procrastination”, putting something off by doing something you put off before. Unfortunately, you still haven’t addressed the studying.

Now, the real question is… can we go one level deeper?

5) Skype date with an old friend/family

Because you’re stressed, you’re tired, and you miss your old familiar friends. It’s okay, we all need a friendly face or a reassuring voice, or just hear about things that aren’t a) med school or b) studying (again the med school bubble effect). But really, after that ‘x’ hour long (x being anywhere from 30 min to however long battery life on your phone/laptop is) catch-up, is it anymore motivating that all your non med school friends are either married/getting engaged, making real money, having kids, getting houses, while you’re still technically an undergrad with a debt line growing faster than a chia pet?

4) Tumblr/Pinterest

Okay, admittedly that last post was a bit needlessly negative, so coming in the top 4 is a more positive entry.

These sites really get you, they’re filled with content that can be tailored to your interests and experiences. Putting everything in context. I mean they even have one that details how it feels to be in med school. Why not explore them and learn a thing or two about your hobbies.

3) Reddit

If you haven’t started on www.reddit.com yet…DON’T go there. Sure it’s filled with interesting topics of discussion, pictures of cute animals (mostly cats), interviews with interesting people and/or celebritiesmeme upon meme upon memes…but it’s a siren’s call that will lure you into an inescapable black hole of procrastination. You have been warned.

Then again, medical students on reddit have been documented to make clutch medical diagnoses.

2) Facebook

Do I really need to explain this one? If you really want to know, there’s a WHOLE Psych study on it here!

And finally!

1) Reading/writing for the UWOMJ Blog

Totally. Worth. It. 

Now if you excuse me, I’m going back to the books.