Everything you do between entering the library and actually studying
Procrastination is essential to hard work
Congratulations for getting up and out to the library. Far too often, we tell ourselves lies such as “I’m going in early to do work before the seminar” or “it’s not due in for another two weeks so it’s not like I’m gonna leave it until the last minute” or my personal daily quote, “It’s not worth the treck, I’m just going to crack on with it at home” which results in two things: bed and Netflix.
Whilst it evidently isn’t always worth the treck from your bed to the library, especially when you consider the cold, the road works, the rain and everything you could ever associate with bus travel, it’s a rewarding feeling when you stroll through the doors of the library, ready for some serious, distraction free study time.
However, it often isn’t quite as simple as that. Here are the obstacles that you face between entrance to the building and actual assignment progression.
You find a space to work in
This does not need to involve a full self-guided tour of the building that you visit at least once a month, however it’s important to find comfort and concentration; a task made significantly harder during exam season because (and take comfort from this) everyone is stressed beyond belief, you’re just late to the party.
You set up camp
You have reached your destination and now you need to create the perfect office environment, one that cannot be compromised by any distraction. It is also a chance for you to appear productive to others. Yes, you spend a solid hour watching YouTube but you have your notepad out and you’re going to find a pen any bloody minute, so you mean business.
You seek stimulation reinforcement
Having arranged this temporary work station you are in great danger of actually opening up a document but you tell yourself there’s literally no point in cracking on with it until you feel stimulated and within reach of a reward so you go off in search of coffee and chocolate. If you bump into someone on your course (especially someone that you’ve forgotten the name of) then it is considered rude not to spend a solid ten minutes assuring each other that you’re in the same boat.
You go in search of a book
Despite online articles, videos, lecture slides and perhaps even one or two notes you woke up during a lecture especially to make; the Matilda in you sends you searching for at least one or two books because at the very least that’s a bit more referencing half sorted for you. You might even stumble across something from your reading list.
You set up your browser
This involves opening up a number of tabs for emails and google searches that may find themselves somewhat relevant later on. At this point, you recall a funny video or meme that you recently saw and decide to treat yourself to watching it again, enhancing your mood and surely by extension – your workload.
You open up Microsoft Word
Things are starting to hot up now, apart the blankness of the so far untouched document. A good technique for getting around this is to open up another document such as a finished essay and scroll down it so that it might look to anyone around you that you are making excellent progress. Whilst actually you just want to decide how to begin this assignment whilst twiddling your thumbs or biting the end of your pen without the blank wall ahead of you. Do you care what progress other people are making? Of course not, but at least you look good.
You need the toilet
You would be pretty mental to try and attempt some work with the agony of needing to relieve yourself, so you make the trip. You don’t go too fast though, remember this is your last time that you have to relax before getting down to some serious work, so take the scenic route and collect your thoughts. Even though you’re yet to start your assignment it has become clear that you need to know when you’re going to leave, otherwise how can you expect to get your 5 a day, read your book and get a good eight hours sleep like no student ever.
You relax yourself
You are so nearly there, but if you are going to maintain a clear head for this operation, make sure you have had a cigarette, a vape or even some chocolate, it’s important to stay calm. Perhaps your ambitions about this study session have hit new highs and you will be in it for the long haul, but only after you’ve nipped out to get a meal deal, some chewing gum, or packet of biscuits, one for each paragraph that you write, perhaps.
You attempt to separate yourself from social media
Part of this involves being up to date and ideally at peace with all of your group chats or WhatsApp groups, you don’t want to be checking them whilst doing your assignment but you also don’t want them to build up too high for when you finish (because for the first time ever you consider yourself far too popular). The final point of contact is a snapchat. You send all of your friends evidence that you are, at the very least trying to do some work and have made the journey this far. However, you must decide whether to open the complete document previously mentioned or the current blank one. If it’s the former, don’t worry, I’m sure they won’t actually read it.
You decide that in hindsight, today hasn’t been your day, you’ll smash out this introduction, or at the very least think about it but then leave for your bed, perhaps via the pub.