How to turn online procrastination into productivity

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OTA Photos/Creative Commons

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So you’ve been in Main Stacks for a while, your brain feels fried and all you want to do is go home and lay in bed with your laptop. You begin to scroll aimlessly through Facebook. You might start to binge-watch Game of Thrones or maybe go on YouTube to find a video of hamsters eating tiny burritos. Before you know it, it’s 4 a.m., and you realize that you’ve just wasted a precious day of RRR week doing nothing. There are, however, ways you can turn your  procrastination into productivity. Stop wasting time, and put yourself ahead of the curve by utilizing these online sources that may just teach you something useful for finals without making you feel like you’re sitting through a lecture.

1) YouTube

Everyone knows that YouTube is the home of funny and entertaining video channels. Did you know that many of these videos are also deceivingly educational? If you’re taking an introductory course, spend a few minutes on Crash Course to enjoy beautifully animated and narrated short lessons by John Green and Hank Green. They teach everything from ecology to U.S. history. A channel for physics students is MinutePhysics, created by Henry Reich. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn from minute-long video clips.

2) Netflix

Believe it or not, you can even learn something from spending a lot of time on Netflix streaming TV shows and movies. The Netflix library is seemingly endless, and you can instantly stream shows about Shakespeare plays or ancient Greek history. There are also plenty of documentaries on Netflix that are both compelling and educational. Freakonomics will teach you economic theory through hilarious examples such as a demonstration of the existence of cheating among sumo wrestlers. Ken Burn’s The Congress can help political science students get their facts straight without cracking open their 400-page readers.

3) Music or podcasts

If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts, try to get the audio versions of your lectures or reading materials. Browse through the NPR podcast section dedicated to education and current events. The BBC also produces an entire genre of “Learning” podcasts such as A History of the World in 100 Objects, which covers world history in a refreshing and interesting format. Auditory media can actually maximize your productivity —  you can’t read a book in the shower, but you sure can listen to a podcast!

Image Sources: OTA Photos under Creative Commons

Contact Tiffany Gong at [email protected].