I wrote this procrastination bible while procrastinating, obviously
Just in time for dooms week
Let’s just get this out of the way — I’m not a therapist nor am I a medical professional of any kind. But I do have some pretty questionable experiences with procrastination — the borderline, super not okay kind—that I can proudly say are now in my past.
So without going into too much detail, as I do indeed have a 10-page final paper due in roughly 24 hours, I’m going to offer you some thoughts and pointers that have changed my relationship with productivity just in time for the treacherous finals week of Fall 2017.
Before I get into the nitty gritty commandments, know that procrastination stems from your desire to be perfect. There's no doubt that if you’re an avid procrastinator, you place a lot of your value as a human being on your performance of any kind. So that exam or project that’s looming in the back of your mind? Of course you’re not going to focus on it because if you try for it and fail, your life will feel cancelled. But… if you don’t try and fail, well then, you just didn’t try. Right?
I’m here to tell you: that complex you’ve developed is bullshit. Tell that voice in your head to eff right off. Try to begin viewing your assignments and grades as separate from your badass self. What you actually are is capable, intelligent and talented. Studying for that exam or completing that project isn’t going to take any of that away from you.
me procrastinating a project i got an extension on: scrolling through facebook, doing the dishes, deleting and unsubscribing from email lists i never wanted to be on, sitting on me floor being existential, thinking about starting to pack, cleaning my room … help me !
— abby joy (@abbyjoypress) December 10, 2017
The best part about this is that when you begin to see improvement within your life because of your increased productivity, your personal sense of value will naturally shift to a healthier place. To all those non-procrastinators out there, this probably doesn't make any sense at all, but #sorrynotsorry, this article isn't for you.
First commandment: Make a list
To borrow an excerpt from the debut solo-single of the late and great Liam Payne, “Oh, strip that down, girl. Love when you hit the ground, girl," make lists and break down your task into simplified, digestible pieces (obviously).
If you’re staring down at the project description of a seemingly impossible assignment and drawing a blank as to where to start, don’t open a new window to get lost in a YouTube black hole for three hours. Identify the tiniest, simplest starting step. And take it. And then do it again. Try to begin viewing each next, small step as a challenge that you’re going to fucking conquer.
Pretend you’re the general of an army and if that tiny, simple step doesn’t get #pwned (2007, anyone?) your army is dead. It’s simple logic, folks. Not to mention that completing those first three steps in any given assignment will give you the sense of control needed to finish without feeling like you’re dying.
Second commandment: Have fun with it
Fun fact: deep house music is surprisingly study-friendly, but it also makes you feel like your friend is at the bar buying the whole squad y-bombs. Spotify has some great playlists (like this one) awaiting your perusal, so there's no excuse to not find the one that works for you. Light some candles (or don’t, I don’t care), play your favorite study jamz, and continue on having the best study party of the semester.
[As an aside, I also think "having fun with it" is one of the best general keys to life.]
Third commandment: Limit your distractions
This isn’t news to anyone, especially to the procrastinators of the world, but get rid of distractions! I downloaded the app “Forest” at the beginning of the semester, and it has really, really helped with minimizing my phone-usage during my study sessions.
Growing some trees on the @forestapp_cc with how many hours I’ve been off my phone today and it actually looks like outside 😍 PS. Get this app if you find your phone a distraction! pic.twitter.com/JkneUuaN9Q
— Zoë Head (@zoe_natasha1) December 12, 2017
The way the app works is that you “plant” a tree for a certain amount of time, and if you click out of the app, the tree dies. Nobody likes to feel like a tree killer, unless you’re in the wood industry, so just do yourself a favor and download the app.
Here's a link. You're welcome.
Fourth commandment: Get a study buddy
Bonus points if you have study sessions with your classmates because not only will your parents be proud that you're making new friends (“Who can relate?” – 1-800-273-8255 by Logic), you’ll also be forced to focus, and you’ll probably receive some helpful information on the course material that you missed in class!
(study group trying to memorize all the info abt literary theorists for the final tomorrow)
classmate: …. so everyone who would you FMK
— rin 🥛💀💤 @ FINALS (@shutoheru) December 12, 2017
Fifth commandment: Knowledge = power
Remember that as pointless as any given subject may seem, completing all of your assignments and studying for all of your exams will make you a better person in some way – being a more knowledgeable individual has never been a bad thing. So complete that to-do list (emphasis on there actually existing a written out to-do list) with the idea that you’re in real time growing and becoming #badder.
Sixth commandment: Stop procrastinating
To all of you out there who just read this to procrastinate: I get it, but this is your long-awaited sign that it’s time to be better now. So get to work. Just start by taking that first, tiny step (re: first commandment).
In one week, you’ll be free of all Fall 2017 academic worries, and you’ll feel so relieved/proud that you decided to give your last push of energy and finish the semester strong.
Now go forth and be bad bitches. Good luck!