Master Procrastinator

July 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

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JoJo writes,

I found this website because your book is already in my favourite bookstore in Germany (and I almost missed my train because of it 😉 ).

I need a bit of help here. I am a massive LOTR fan, and my exams are in 4 weeks. I am a master at procrastinating and I really need to study but… tumblr, youtube, twitter, facebook and on top of that, daily news websites, that are updated every hour or so. And compared to that all my books look really boring. How can I cut back on my media intake NOW? Thanks a lot!

JoJo, I have been battling this question my entire life. All I have to say is, thank God there was no Tumblr when I was in high school or college.

I’d love to be able to tell you something super emotional and LOTR-ish, like. . . oh I don’t know. . .

“I CAN’T CARRY YOUR EXAMS FOR YOU, JOJO—BUT I CAN CARRY YOU.”

But honestly I have really weak arms and haven’t achieved Constance Zimmer goals yet, so let me make a few suggestions.

  1. Enlist a friend. Accountability buddies are the best. Get together, sigh dramatically, and get your work done. Or if you can’t get together, promise-text each other when you’re going to turn off screens and focus.
  2. Tomaten Zeit. I talk about this in the book, but the Pomodoro Technique (aka what I call Tomato time), involves setting an alarm for 20 minutes and then giving yourself a five minute break for Internet checking. If you can’t make it 20 minutes without checking social media, then make it 15, or even 10.
  3. Start small. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the work you have to do. So focus on one tiny task. Then move onto the next tiny task. We don’t make it to Mordor in a 30 second montage. We make it there one hairy footstep at a time.

If these don’t work, consider how you’re the expert of your own habits. You know what motivates you, and what doesn’t. So trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to get creative. Print out a pic of your fave cheering you on. Listen to dramatic soundtrack music. Whatever it takes!

To quote J. R. R. Tolkien, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” What will you do with yours today?

Good luck!

 

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