Summer leaves you in a calm state. School starts. Hello panic mode. You grab a hold on your grind. Chill during reading week. W-wait. What do you mean I have a 3000 word assignment due tomorrow?
A few days ago I was supposed to start working on an assignment. Instead of exams or tests, a large component of my academics this semester is based on writing. During the last three years, I focused on my communications major, but this year I mainly took writing courses to complete my second major in professional writing.
Each week isn’t too intense; I only have one two-hour lecture from Monday to Thursday, yet I usually spend three hours of my day commuting. That’s maybe five hours of my day. What do I do for the other 11 hours? I don’t even know.
We’ve all been there before. We stare at our phones, click on a few YouTube videos, scroll along Facebook & Instagram, and suddenly it’s 10pm. What?
I keep telling myself to wake up early, eat a good breakfast, drink a lot of caffeine and get crackin’ on my day. Instead, I wake up right before noon, rush my breakfast, and constantly update myself on social media. It’s killing me. I’m aware that it’s ruining my academics, but I honestly don’t know how to get out of this slump. I mean, some days are really productive, but this post is mainly for the times I want to hide from the world and live in an imaginary world where university doesn’t exist.
I found that the best way for me to be productive is to surround myself with like-minded individuals. I like working in coffee shops, or in the library. A little bit of chatter in the background, but not so much. I like being surveilled, otherwise why would I work if nobody is watching me? Lately, I’ve been spending too much time alone in my room. I do have a desk, and I keep it clean, but usually time spent alone is when I want to pamper myself and relax.
Hey Brenda, what point are you trying to prove? Can you get to it already?
I was procrastinating on YouTube, committing one of my favourite anti-productive rituals – watching TedTalks videos. These are the worst, you feel like you gain a sense of knowledge and power learning from these leaders, but after 10-14 minutes of listening to someone telling you their “lifehacks”, they start becoming repetitive and you forget half of the enlightening information they bless you with.
That was until I started watching this TedTalks titled How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over. Within the first minute, I grabbed my notebook and started writing a list. Mel Robbins is a hilarious and likeable speaker who really gave me a different perspective on how to force yourself to live the life you want. Does this sound cliche? Well, it is. Somehow she reiterates a lot of what we tell ourselves everyday, but in an authoritative ‘idgaf if you listen, but I’m here anyways to inspire” tone.
Here, I have a compilation of tips that might be helpful for you:
Getting what you want is simple, but not easy.
The phrase “I’m fine”, means you’ve accepted your failure. Be honest with how you are feeling. If you’re mad, say you’re mad.
You are never going to “feel like it”
- You need to physically force yourself to do it. Nobody else cares enough, they’re worrying about their own lives.
- Get out of your head
- Don’t listen to feelings (you’re never going to FEEL like doing it)
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Get OUTSIDE
- Do you ever have those days where you sleep in until 3pm and find yourself laying in bed until midnight? Then you regret everything on Sunday when you’re freaking out about a paper that’s due tomorrow? This is me 24/7, and what I find helpful is getting out and going for a walk. Seriously. 5 minutes will do. Just leave your house. Breathe deeply. Look at some birds. Don’t get shat on.
- If you don’t do something within 5 seconds, you are pulling the emergency brake and killing ideas
- Mel Robbins gave a great example. She said that if you feel like getting up and dancing, go up and dance. Many people shy away and after five seconds, the opportunity is missed. What did you lose from not getting up? If you feel an urge to do something, please do it within those 5 seconds, otherwise you already lost. Unless… the action you want to commit has negative implications. Then don’t do it.
If you’re reading this post, thank you. Thanks for procrastinating and allowing me five minutes of your day to read my work. I really hope this helps you jumpstart in whichever way you need. I’m in no way a “guru” or a professional, but sharing a little bit of wisdom I have can come a long way. I hope y’all get through midterm season!