Don’t be fooled, it takes skill to pretend to study. It’s pretty easy to identify when someone’s sitting at a table in the library watching Netflix, or when two people are eating lunch and there are no books or school supplies in sight. It is only once you become a pro that you can do nothing, and still get away with looking like you’re being productive.
Here are the five best ways to pretend like you’re studying when you’re actually procrastinating:
1. Show off those stickers and keep your laptop open in front of you
Having an open computer in front of you is key. If nobody can see my screen, am I drafting iMessages or typing my six-page research paper? Honestly, I’m probably on iMessage. Am I watching a documentary for class, or am I re-watching Friends for the twentieth time on Netflix? Here’s a hint: I’m a Monica, not a Phoebe. Am I reading the textbook for class tomorrow, or an article on Buzzfeed about what type of cupcake I am? You guessed it: Buzzfeed, and confetti with vanilla frosting. The easiest way to procrastinate, and still look like you’re studying, is by sticking to the laptop for all of your shenanigans.
2. Location, location, location
It’s crucial to place yourself in a good spot. If you’re in the middle of a crowded lunch spot like Macs or Tril, most people know you’re not really getting work done and the computer is out for show. But, if you’re in a library, nobody will doubt what you’re doing. Why else would you come to the library if you aren’t really going to work?
3. I’m just taking a five minute snack break
In my experience, nobody will judge you for taking a quick snack break or refilling your water bottle while you’re studying. If you keep on munching the entire time, it’ll always seem like you’re just taking a study break. Meanwhile, you haven’t worked in five hours and you should probably start your problem set due tomorrow, but that’s a separate issue.
4. Make your desk look full
Take as many school supplies out of your bag as you can and place them in front of you. If you have three notebooks, your planner, a pen, and two highlighters in front you, most people will (foolishly) assume that you mean business. So here’s your chance to play Jenga with that stack of books, even if you won’t be reading them, because it makes you look productive.
5. Don’t be social
When you have that hoodie on and those headphones in, nobody’s messing. Even if you’re just listening to music and scrolling through Facebook, others won’t know. You’ll automatically give off a vibe that you’re in your own world doing your work and nobody should interrupt your productivity. Then, it looks like you’re studying, and you can enjoy your playlist in peace.