The semester is almost over. You’re so close! You’ve probably got a ton of papers to write, tests to study for and group projects to do yourself because your partners suck. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, as you probably know from the abundance of students joining you in the library night after night. I too, am trying to finish an annoyingly drawn out writing project cruelly titled: my thesis. I’ve had years of perfecting the art of writing a paper, 11 to be exact if you add up high school, college and graduate school. Gross. And even with all those years under my belt I still can’t seem to find a strategy that works all the time. All I can do here is provide a few suggestions on how you can get your work done faster…or at all.
1. Work in silence.
Sometimes silence is all you need to really focus on your work and get it done. You’ll have zero distractions and can think clearly. Too clearly it may seem. Because then your thoughts might wander and if you have anxiety you’ll start worrying about if you’ll ever finish this assignment and what will happen in your future and if you’ll ever get married and then cry yourself to sleep without getting any of your work done. Okay, if that’s you, not the best option.
2. Listen to music.
Background music may help you concentrate more than silence. It acts as white noise to let your mind focus on the task at hand. But then that awesome 1D song comes on and you can’t help but get up and sing the lyrics right into your highlighter while you dance on your desk and destroy all the work you’ve just been doing for the past hour. Hmm…you should get out more.
3. Drink alcoholic beverages.
I know a few people that say they concentrate better and even write better while drinking beer. I’d attest to that because I’m pretty sure I’m smarter when I drink. For example, when my friend and I went to Europe, I could only understand the map when I was tipsy. That was the only time I knew where we were going. Unfortunately, that understanding dissipates when I’m attempting to do school work. As it turns out, when I try to drink and do work, I only get drunk. And then start drunk messaging, texting and snapchatting everyone in my contacts. Cool.
4. Making a schedule.
This can be a huge help to procrastinators. You block off a certain amount of time for each assignment and try your darndest to get it done by the final minute. If you’re really good you can give yourself a due date to have something completed by and actually stick to it! Amen to you, my friend. I arbitrarily give myself due dates and then watch them pass by and convince myself I’ll do it by next week. Ha. This past month was the first time I managed to stay remotely close to my personal due date in all three years of grad school. That was a big deal. If keeping one measly due date is a big deal for you, then I don’t recommend this as a helpful tool.
5. Do work in a group.
Sometimes working with friends can keep you focused on your assignments because all your friends are doing their work too. Since everyone is working you’ll feel motivated, or more likely, obligated, to stay quiet and work. I personally need someone to “encourage” me to get off Facebook. Without this person, there is no end to my stalking capabilities and time wasting skill. She is my school work rock and we now have Skype sessions devoted to not talking and thesis writing or PhD type things (not me, her…let’s be real). Of course there is the off-chance that you and your friends begin chatting and completely forget about work and decide to go back home, order Dominoes and watch Real Housewives of New York to see how crazy Aviva is getting. There is that.
Hope one of these is helpful! If you have any suggestions for me they would be greatly appreciated. I’ve still got a few more months of writing and need some helpful hints! Like, any hints at all. Seriously, if you work well, say, on the beach getting a tan while occasionally taking breaks to cool off in the ocean, I’d love to hear that! On an unrelated note, Summer!
Now get off Facebook and do your work!