Earlier last week, I caught myself slipping. I had a to-do list that was probably as long as my arm, but I still felt the urge to binge Law and Order: SVU. Part of this has to do with an overwhelming amount of responsibilities and the rest of it is more than likely pure laziness. Thankfully, I have a conscience that made me feel guilty for the amount of time I was wasting watching TV and scrolling through social media when I should’ve been studying. I spent some time ignoring it, which just made it even louder. When I finally did listen to that little voice in my head, I decided that Saturday would be the day to get my life together.
What I did:
The To-Do List that Won’t Go Away
I made a list of all of the things that I needed to get done or should’ve done during the week but… lazy. Anyway, I made this list on a sticky note and stuck it on my computer so I can see it whenever I open it up. This really works wonders because there are times when I finish an assignment and think that it’s okay to call it a day and then I look at my to-do list and say “absolutely not”. After I’ve completed a task, I just simply mark it off or if it’s a huge task I’ll do half of it and shade in half of the box.
Laura Lacquer actually introduced me to this method a while ago, but I wasn’t disciplined enough to actually reset the timer when break time was over. Only God can judge me, okay?! Anyway, earlier this week, Laura shared her productivity tips where she mentioned the BeFocused app– I, too, was drawn in by the colors. I also like how you can list the tasks that you’d like to get done, so it kind of doubles as a to-do list. I’ve also been using the Flora app which is basically the same thing as BeFocused, except it allows you to grow trees. If you leave the app while the work timer is still going then your tree dies– who wants to be the cause of that? Not me, which is what I like about it, My “forest” serves as an added layer of accountability.
Get out of the House
Definitely not ideal after a long day of classes, work, extracurriculars, etc. I found that doing work in my dorm or, worse, in my bed was throwing off my productivity. Library study sessions became necessary, I think it has something to do with being around people who were also working that made me want to get my work done. There were times when I would forget a book or something that I needed to complete an assignment. This is bad because I would pack up and go back to the dorm and do nothing. That being said, I suggest making your to-do list before leaving the house/dorm.
I have the hardest time working/studying in groups, especially when those groups happen to be my friends or my boyfriend. They’ll want to get food or take breaks when I’m nowhere near a stopping point, but still, I would say yes. I found that I was using these “study breaks” to procrastinate, something that I would always regret later on. I’m doing a better job of saying no by choosing to work alone or being open about all of the things I have to get done. Definitely not the easiest thing to do, but it’s necessary.
Bonus: Remembering the “Why?”
me trying to “trust the process” pic.twitter.com/Q4bvj1xubJ
— Sofiya Ballin (@sofiyaballin) October 2, 2018
Some people think that this goes without saying, but it doesn’t. It’s easy to lose sight of the end goal when there’s so much going on in the process. I’ve had to remind myself of why I decided to put up with the process, to begin with. Trust, I’ve told myself that I can be so many other things, but I can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t want to be a doctor, so I push myself to keep going.