After a long day of strenuous schoolwork, the devil on your shoulder urging you to put off all your work and play Candy Crush can seem like the deadliest thing to your high school career, but in reality it may not be completely in the wrong.
Studies have shown that procrastinating will boost creativity and enhance attentiveness when done correctly.
For many, school-related stress can seemingly force us to sacrifice our mental health or even right to live a balanced, teenage life. This is why procrastination’s reputation is so notorious. We are told to stay focused at all times in order to make sure we finish all of our work, but should this always be a hard and fast rule?
According to The Atlantic, taking a 17 minute break after every 52 minutes of studying can not only help you become more imaginative, but also increase accuracy and efficiency.
Though these exact time intervals have been proven to ensure the best results, following them roughly would still be beneficial. These strategic breaks make sure you’re able to get the most done, in the most productive way, while still giving yourself time to unwind.
Procrastination can take many forms, but for most, postponing your work can lead to never-ending distractions by social media, online streaming, video games or even a sidetracked study call. However, none of these are strictly negative if you learn to manage your time correctly and practice procrastination like a pro.
Spending time after school to recharge by watching an episode of your favorite show can allow your brain relief from academic stress, a break necessary for achieving intensified productivity later (unless of course you fall into the endless pit of Netflix binging).
If you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open as you read the next three chapters of your school-required novel, allow yourself a short power-nap to relax and rejuvenate, giving yourself the energy needed to complete the rest of your homework effectively.
However, make sure to set an alarm for 30 minutes so you don’t find yourself waking in a late-night panic, without having time to complete all of your assignments.
If you procrastinate right, you won’t need to feel guilty for slacking.
Doing work consistently for hours upon hours without breaks can lead to poor function when you need it most, even though it may seem like you are just being a hard worker.
Whether you’re cramming for an exam or preparing for a presentation, on the day that you’re required to utilize that knowledge, your performance will not be optimal if you’ve overwhelmed yourself with work.
In moments when a math question is too difficult or your eyes glaze over a reading passage, a common instinct is to refresh Instagram or check the latest Snapchat stories, but establishing specific times for breaks right when you get home from school is the best thing to keep on track.
It will also prevent putting off that dreaded assignment until late at night when you are tired, overworked and in need of sleep.
Overall, using your time wisely and maintaining a balanced approach towards free time and school work can prove to be effective in the long run, as well as make you happier in the moment.
Taking 22 minutes to watch Dwight Schrute throw himself into a dumpster and scream “Parkour!” may improve your mental health and in fact make you smarter.