I stopped procrastinating for a week and the results were insane
There’s actually a lot of time in the day
Ahhhh sweet procrastination. The friend that you can always rely on to show up (even if they weren't invited).
It manifests itself as Netflix binging sessions and endless scrolling upon scrolling through Instagram. You know it's gone too far when you end up watching a YouTube video on 'What Disney Channel Stars Look Like Now' when you originally searched 'Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas'.
Hell, you may even be procrastinating in reading this article! Well, do not fret. We are staging an intervention.
This is something I did in my own life over reading week. I started off on my road to productivity by checking my phones screen time. It was pretty bad.
If I was going to stop procrastinating for a week, Instagram and Snapchat (being the biggest culprits) had to go.
Google Maps was a must and Messenger for coursework group chats, but the rest had to go.
I went home for reading week so the immediate challenge was not slipping out of the university mindset. Going without (some) social media was actually pretty easy; I did find myself forgetting and reaching for my phone to post the occasional Snapchat story though.
I started working at 11:30am and worked until 5:30pm (with food and drink breaks ofc). I was feelin' real proud of myself. In the evening I met a friend for a catch-up, but I was pretty happy with what I'd got done that day.
Apparently productive people go to the gym and juice celery. So I got up at 6am and went to the gym (I didn't juice celery though cause that's gross and I don't hate myself). I used to be big into the gym and just found that I hadn't gone that much in the past month or so. In a weird sort of way it was great!
Waking up was not. But I left feeling glad that I had gone and ready for the rest of the day (after a shower and some munch). I did some work but I didn't get to do that much because I spent 5-6 hours travelling back to London for the rest of reading week.
I was getting an average of 6 hours sleep. I was caffeine dependent. I was spending an average of 20 minutes socialising each day. Hump day hit me like the school bus that hit Regina George.
I went to my internship 10:30-4:30, so I think that counts as productive. But in the evening I had a relapse.
After being told by people that they'd messaged me on Instagram and tagged me in posts, I maybe, sorta, kinda re-downloaded it. I told myself that I was just going to reply to people so they didn't think I was rude. And I did! But then I may have scrolled for a little bit…
Anyway, realising that my self-control had seen no improvements, I re-deleted Instagram.
Unhappy with how much uni work I'd done over reading week I woke up at an ungodly hour and got on that study grind. I worked for a couple hours then went to a society meeting.
After that, it being Halloween and all, I made a half-ass attempt at a devil costume (after being told by my bestfriend that I couldn't dress up as Mr. Brocoli – the vegetable-inclined Extinction Rebellion guy). Now this could be classed as procrastination but I wasn't about to miss out on Halloween for any first.
I did uni work for the first-half of the day and then went to work for the second-half. In terms of a productivity mindset and routine, I felt like I was really getting it down and the results were blowing my mind!
I had done WAY more work than I would in your average week, like probably double, and despite the sleep deprivation I felt pretty great – like I was really achieving stuff and that just motivated me more.
Saturday was a long one but we stan a productive queen. I worked a 14-hour shift, the longest I’ve ever done. I didn't have time for uni work unless I was satisfied with getting 4 hours of sleep – which needless to say, I was not. But we do live in a capitalist society so have to get that dollar.
Beautiful, beautiful Sunday.
Sunday marked the end of my experiment. I sat at my desk and did that pre-reading that I normally put-off until the day of my lecture. All was well in the world – after some coffee that is, because I was still and still am on the road to caffeine addiction. To conclude my experiment I re-downloaded my old buddies Instagram and Snapchat.
My screen-time went down SIGNIFICANTLY and I think it would have been even less if I didn't have so many practical tasks to do on my phone.
I got way more done than I would normally, so I would definitely try this out again – maybe around exam time.
There are definitely negatives to being on the constant grind. It's really difficult to meet friends or start-up new friendships because getting to know someone takes time and often part of that takes place on social media.
Like everything, I think that you need to find the balance. Imma tell you now that if you shut yourself in the library every day and do nothing else, you're gonna struggle to hold onto your sanity.
I want do well but I also want to keep a good level of physical and mental health. So, moving on from this I will try to hold on to the productivity mindset for a bit longer. But, I equally welcome back my former chum, procrastination. We may have grown apart, but that's my OG and it's okay, and even necessary, to unwind and chill sometimes.