How to Get Things Done
We all have our own experiences with procrastination. It is an evil that has plagued humanity since the dawn of time, and will probably continue to make us feel miserable till the end of it. As university students, we have regular assignments, projects and quizzes, that beg us to be at our toes but, alas, we leave them all till the eleventh hour. After every all-nighter before an OHT, or that race against the clock to submit an assignment, I ask myself, “Why are you like this?” Unsurprisingly, we all face this in one form or another; procrastination not only prevents us from performing better at university, but in general gives us a sense of dissatisfaction with our lives. Wouldn’t you love to work on that project you had been thinking about, learn that skill, hit the gym or maybe just clean your room? So, here’s a list of things to help get work done.
1.Put barriers between you and comfort
Most of us waste our time by mindlessly scrolling on social media, watching videos, or sleeping. If you turn off your internet or, better, keep a long password on your phone, it suddenly becomes more work now to just look at your feed. Ban the websites on your browser, use productivity apps that prevent you from accessing anything for short periods. Sleep a lot? Lock your blanket up and make your bed messy, so that you must clean it before you can sleep. Always look for ways to add steps in between that makes you realize that your escape is hard.
2. Program your brain
Your brain likes an instant reward over a delayed one. We can only theorize why that is, but everyone’s brain works that way, so learning delayed gratification is an important skill. In fact, there is something called the “Marshmallow Test”, which is given to kids to see if they will be successful (in the traditional sense). We give a child one marshmallow and tell them that if they don’t eat it for 15 minutes, they can get another. If the child can wait it out, it is supposed to show stronger will-power. “But how can we develop delayed gratification?”, you ask? Well, just tie a task you like with a task you would like to do; an example would be to eat chocolates only when you finish studying a page, or listen to your epic playlist only while at the gym.
3. Learn to say no
If you live on campus and have no supervision, there is no one to say “no” to whatever you do. This includes spending all your time with friends. Hanging out and chilling is fine, but you must get your work done. You must learn to say no to plans and overcome the fear of missing out, i.e FOMO (or at least learn to live with it). You may get called a snek, but it is better to have the peace of mind and sense of accomplishment than having to pull a couple of all-nighters for the ESE.
4. Develop better memory
This isn’t one that lets you procrastinate less; instead, it decreases the time you spend on things. Most of you probably don’t have photographic memory, but most memory champions don’t have it either, because they learn ways to remember better and faster. If you learn some of the techniques, you can memorize and recall a lot more information than you previously thought you could. An excellent method is the mind palace (Sherlock fans must know), which itself relies on the fact we remember locations better than facts; you can walk from your department to C1 without thinking about where you are going. On a closing note, university is a great place to find and develop yourself as a person. You get to meet a group of diverse people with different experiences, you juggle your social life, studies, and most important of all, your sleep. Learning how to get things done (and done efficiently) is a skill that will help you now and in the coming future. Good luck!