Structured Procrastination Magic When Studying for the Firefighter Promotional Exam

At some point while working on your firefighter promotional exam prep you have procrastinated. For some people procrastination is a once in a while thing, for others it is chronic. If you are a chronic procrastinator it is time to learn how to procrastinate to your advantage through structured procrastination. 

Structured Procrastination Defined

Procrastination is defined as, “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” While structured procrastination is, “shaping the structure of a task one has to do in a way that exploits this fact.” Structured procrastination simplified means, you plan your daily tasks in a way that the thing you don’t want to get done, like studying, ends up getting done first. This happens because, although the other tasks in the day may be more important, they are even less fun or exciting than studying, causing you to just study because it is actually easier to do. You are essentially procrastinating on a more difficult task with something that is also important, like studying for your firefighter promotional exam, so you still accomplish something important. 

How to Implement Structured Procrastination

  1. Make a List

The first step to structure procrastination is to make a list of things you need to accomplish in the day or week, whatever works best for you. The key to structured procrastination is to make sure everything on your list is important. For example, paying a certain bill by the due date, cleaning the gutters before an impending rain storm and studying for your firefighter promotional exam. You will want to make the list in order of importance with studying being somewhere near the bottom and things that are more important at the top of the list. This way, when you go to tackle your list, you are more likely to avoid the top tasks by doing less important tasks lower on the list, such as studying, because for whatever reason our brains want to avoid the most important tasks. 

  1. The More You Have To Do the Better

When you are making your list of tasks to help you procrastinate in a structured way, make it long. The shorter the list the more time you will have to do nothing, therefore accomplishing less, which is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish with structured procrastination. If you have a long list of things to do you are more likely to procrastinate the thing at the top of the list by doing the stuff at the bottom because you have so much to do. This is because the stuff at the top of your list is more important making it more likely to be procrastinated. Remember, people tend to put off doing things that are more important. So if you make a long list with only important things on it, you are much more likely to do something on your list instead of procrastinating with doing nothing. So even though you are procrastinating the most important tasks you are still checking things off your list, like studying for the firefighter promotional exam. 

  1. Don’t Overthink It

When applying structured procrastination to your life to help you study more don’t think too hard about what you are doing. Start making your lists of tasks and begin working on them as you normally would. Don’t think about how you are basically tricking yourself into studying because it may make it less successful for you. Yes you are trying to trick your brain to work for you with your procrastination habit, but once you do it a few times you probably will forget that you are trying to force yourself to procrastinate in a productive way as long as you are consistent with your lists for structured procrastination. 

The Takeaway 

Structured procrastination sounds like it may be too good to be true because of the fact that you are aware that you are trying to trick yourself into doing more work, but try it. On days when you need to study for the firefighter promotional exam, make a list of important things you need to accomplish and see what happens. Hopefully structured procrastination will help you accomplish more on your to do list besides just studying for your firefighter promotional exam studying.