Written by a senior at the University of Notre Dame
At the beginning of my college career, I could sit in the library for an hour without cracking open a single book. I’m a grade A procrastinator. When I get bored of staring at PowerPoint slides, I take advantage of the fact that Twitter, Facebook and “the ‘Gram” are two clicks away. New Snapchat stories and Kim Kardashian tweets come in every seven minutes. Homework problems just sit there, demanding to be answered… boring.
The night before my Microeconomics final, it finally occurred to me that my procrastination might be a problem. At five to midnight I looked down at the scarce fruits of my labor: a dozen note cards scattered about my desk, a half-assed study guide (yet to be studied) and an entire chapter not yet read. I knew absolutely nothing. Time to crunch.
After that miserable, sleepless night, my tips and tricks for studying success were born.
1. Leave your phone at home
I understand… Separation anxiety from your cell phone is a real thing. However, it’s seriously amazing how productive you’ll be when you’re not a slave to the text message ding. Unless you’re Barack Obama or some hot commodity CEO, chances are your messages aren’t in dire need of being answered.
2. Let your bestie be devious
Let’s get something straight—deactivating Facebook just isn’t a thing. As brilliant as Mark Zuckerberg is, I’m surprised he didn’t realize that all you have to do to reactivate is type in your login information… thereby totally defeating the purpose of deactivation. Instead, ask your best friend to change your password so there’s physically no way of entering the social network. Don’t worry, they’ll make it something totally weird. There’s no way you’ll guess it.
3. Go to a place where studying is your only option
If I’m studying in my apartment, I come up with a million other things to do before I sit down and get sh*t done. Put yourself in a public space, like a library or school building, where the possibilities of giving your bedroom a makeover or cooking a gourmet meal instead of cracking open a text book are nonexistent. You’re going to look like an idiot if you start organizing the library or decorating the bookshelves.
4. Cross ‘em off
The pleasure of crossing off an item on a to-do list has to be one of the best feelings out there. With each item I cross off, I feel encouraged to be more productive. Integrate small, menial tasks that are easy to complete into your list. This way, there are more things to cross off and that momentum of productivity won’t die. For example:
- Read Accounting Chapter 7 pg. 321-342
- Stalk Ex-Boyfriend on Facebook
- Do Chapter 4 HW problems for Econ
- Post College Magazine Article to friend’s wall
You’ll be done in no time.
5. Find a hottie
The key here is not to distract yourself by having an attractive peer to stare at; rather, you want to know that they can see you. I’ve found that if a cute guy has the opportunity to watch my every move at the library, I’m less inclined to do stupid things. Normally, I’d get up to go to the bathroom, but I don’t want him to think I have a bladder problem or something. If my computer screen is on display, I want to look productive, not like I just sit on Twitter all day. Putting yourself in plain sight of someone you want to look legit around is a sure way to actually make yourself be productive.
Now, stop procrastinating and get to it.