Currently, we all find ourselves in the midst of the first round of prelims. I hope this season brings everyone success and good fortune. Of course, in order to achieve these ideal outcomes, we must put the work in and be productive. However, at times it can be very difficult to stay motivated and keep on grinding, especially given the recent downfall of everyone’s favorite app, Pocket Points. As sketchy as it may have been–who was really funding all of those free Green Goddesses? Big Brother? Was this all just an elaborate data mining scheme?–it kept us productive and off of our phones; that is, until we discovered the IOS glitch. Then all hell broke loose, and Jansen’s was suddenly flooded with dozens of Cornellians demanding free smoothies. Naturally, the supply from on-campus eateries could not meet the demand of entitled young adults, and now most free meal items have been wiped from the app.
So, how to stay motivated?
If anyone knows the woes of studying or doing homework with a wandering mind, I do. This doesn’t need to be a bad thing. It’s okay to take study breaks, as long as they just remain breaks, and not tapping through snap stories every five minutes accomplishing the very least during a study session. Here is a comprehensive guide to procrastinating like a pro, in ways that will enrich your quality of life and leave you satisfied, refreshed, and ready to return to your books.
I have broken down the types of productive procrastination methods into three distinct categories. Notice that none of these involve your phone. Turn off your phone while you are studying, and remove it from your line of sight. Instagram is the enemy; you will not leave the app feeling satisfied in any way, just equally as confused about differential equations as you were before. It’s a vicious cycle; ultimately, you will return to the app in seconds. Do not succumb to escapism.
Category 1: Adulting
This is the kind of procrastination that is perhaps most “justified.” When faced with these kinds of tasks, you usually tend to shrug and insincerely promise yourself “later.” Bored of studying? Now is the time! Go do your laundry, clean your living space, respond to that email from your professor, take a short nap, read the news (There is a whole world outside of the Cornell bubble, didn’t ya know?), find housing for next year (yikes); whatever your needs may be, fulfill them so you can feel human again.
Category 2: Free-Time Bucket List
This category encompasses all of the things you tell yourself you’re going to do “when you have time.” However, you never seem to get around to doing these things, because you wake up every Saturday with a throbbing headache, consigned to spending your day in bed staring at your phone with a bio textbook propped open next to your pillow. I know that I personally have a list that I made at the end of the summer with fifty movies I want to watch. I’ve watched zero. So go watch a movie (it’s a long break, but it has a definitive time span that will refocus you at its end), make that playlist you’ve been putting off for two months, buy a new outfit online, take a calming stroll outside. You’re not procrastinating, you’re being productive in a different way.
Category 3: Self-care
This category consists of the things we swear we will do before bed that are forgotten when bedtime rolls around at 2:30 AM and priorities shift– bear with me as I project my shortcomings onto you. These activities could consist of anything from revisiting a neglected hobby to putting on a face mask. Work on your craft, do some journaling, light a candle. For me, this procrastination method has manifested itself in the form of stress-crocheting a tube top to forget P Chem until I’m clear-headed again.
So don’t be too hard on yourself if you get distracted working, just try to be sure that you’re spending time on things that matter to you. What if I told you that I wrote this article on a study break?