Often, we’ve been telling you what you need to do during exam period. You know, creating notes, sticking to a study plan and being organised- the usual stuff. But if you’re a chronic procrastinator, you may need to be told what not to do during exam period.

I know what you’re thinking, “pfft, what does he know?” Well, I’m a chronic procrastinator too and I’m writing this whilst in the midst of my exams. You bet, I’m procrastinating big time (oh, the irony). So maybe we can go on this journey together to defeat procrastination once and for all.

To all my fellow lazy-yet-stressed procrastinators, here are a few things that we need to stop doing during exam period.

1. Netflix binging

We’re masters at binging our way through the vast library of TV shows and movies Netflix has on offer, but that mastery is enhanced come exam period. It’s so tempting to scroll through the options and pick whatever piques our interest instead of picking up a textbook. 

But it’s time to resist the temptation and - rather than watching the series or movie - add them to your list for after exams. It’s also time to stop saying “one more episode”. Next time Netflix asks whether you're still watching, take it as a sign that it's time you sit yourself down and start studying.

If you still feel like you can't resist, deactivate your account or give your password to a relative and make them keep it a secret until after exam period is over. 

2. Re-reading the textbook

Kudos if you did manage to pick up the textbook. That’s a huge step and I’m proud of you.

But simply re-reading the textbook isn’t effective study. You may feel like you’re doing god’s work by actually studying, but in reality, you’re just creating the false sense that everything will be okay because you did something. But you didn’t actually study. To actually study, you need to engage with the textbook and create notes that will help you understand the content. Then you need to go over those notes and make summaries of what you've learned. It's a whole process and you can't just do the first step. 

3. Making elaborate study notes

Don’t get me wrong, visualised and coloured notes can be extremely useful when you’re studying. But you don't want to fall into the trap of making notes so elaborately colour-coded and cross-referenced that it becomes its own form of procrastination.

While recording every single date from WWII or writing down chunks of quotes from Hamlet in your notes can be useful, be wary of how many notes you're taking and how much information you're trying to shove into that brain of yours. You need to be a little selective about what you're choosing to record in your notes, otherwise an overload of information may translate to content-dumping come the exam.

Just take it easy and don't go too overboard when it comes to your notes. 

4. Making playlists for your imaginary concert

Don’t lie to yourself - I know that you’re out there creating playlists for your imaginary concert. You hand-pick a few bangers, chuck them all in a playlist and choreograph your performance as if you were putting on a concert to your adoring fans. I do it all the time - it’s good fun when you know you have absolutely zero chance at actually playing a concert because you’re musically inept.

But it’s time to study, not to plan your next sold-out show. So don't be sitting there making playlists that you'll use for studying when you could be actually studying. 

5. Checking your god damn socials

You knew this was coming. It’s too easy to get stuck into a rabbit hole of Brown Cardigan Instagram vids. As hilarious as they are, it’s time to knuckle down.

Turn off your phone. Simple as.

From one procrastinator to another, it’s not gonna be easy. But if we eliminate our distractions one at a time, we may get through this together. We just need to stop doing the things that are setting us back. We're in this together.

Need some help studying? Suss our Year 12 Survival Guide for study tips that actually work.