Monday, January 16, 2017

Productive Procrastination: 3 Things That Work For Me

1. Watch a show that brings you joy and helps you relax:

"The Office" is one of my all time favorite shows; the length of each episode (a little over 20 minutes) is like a  dose of  happiness. During the semester, when I have endless amounts of work to complete, I am often stressed and, as a result, I find myself contemplating what life as a college dropout might look like for me. However, instead of drowning in tears of worry, or worse, dropping out and ruining my life entirely, I procrastinate by watching an episode (okay, I rarely ever watch just one) of "The Office." The show never fails to make me laugh (seriously, there has not been an episode where I haven't laughed, smiled, or felt stars in my belly). After an episode or two (or three or four) I feel alive again. It is at this point that I look at the ton of work I have to complete and realize that though quite massive and frankly, scary af, it's all doable. And then I, with Dwight Schrute level confidence, tell myself that I can and will complete every assignment assigned and when I do, I reward myself by watching even more episodes.

2. Take a 20 minute nap:
Naps are absolutely fabulous. Now I know that 15-20 minute naps may be difficult for some folks; I have friends who take 20 minutes just to fall asleep and some who even suffer from insomnia, so I will simply share how naps tend to work for me in hopes that it will motivate you to take it up as a practice.
Long naps often leave me feeling cranky and super unproductive which is why I prefer 20 minute naps because they do the opposite. Naps tend to come in handy when I'm stressed or stuck on an assignment; when this is the case, I simply set an alarm for 25 minutes, close my eyes, and rest. Note, the extra five minutes gives me time to fall asleep, this way I actually get to sleep for the whole 20 minutes. I often take these sort of naps in my room, but when I'm working in the library or some other study space, the same method works just as well. In fact, I can kind of take these sort of naps anywhere since it's more like meditation than sleeping. 20 minute naps help me relax both my mind and body so when I awake I am not nearly as stressed and anxious as I was before. Another cool thing about 20 minute naps is, for example, if I am having a hard time coming up with a thesis statement for an essay, after taking a nap, my mind is not only clear of anxious thoughts, but full of productive and helpful ideas. Naps rock!

3. Destress with a friend:
My (old) roommate and I are constantly stressing and destressing together. When the pressures of school gets to be too much, it's nice to have someone nearby that you can laugh with and talk to. In the selfie shown, she and I were in the middle of enjoying a 20 minute facemask and each other's company. Now, mind you, we probably both had assignments that we were supposed to be working on, but hey, self care is important too people. More importantly, we were connecting, which is sometimes hard to do when you are in an academic setting that often forces you to engross yourself in your own personal studies. This is why, no matter how much work I have to complete, I make it my business to check in with my friends; we all need to be reminded that we are not alone every now and again.

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