I’m sitting on the couch trying out every Snapchat filter on my face, taking 100 of the same pictures of my dogs sleeping on the couch next to me, and occasionally scrolling through Instagram to see the same posts I saw 10 minutes ago. I have mountains of work waiting for me, so much that I don’t know where to start (so I don’t), but also so much that I can’t ethically commit myself to real procrastination. And an hour later, I find myself in a worse condition than if I had just decided to watch a few episodes of New Girl.
This has been my life most nights since this semester began. I have found myself so overwhelmed with with work that I sometimes forget to manage it. I get all my textbooks ready, my pencil out, Canvas open, and then I click the “new tab” button and wander to Pinterest instead. I think I’m trying to trick myself into thinking I’m not really procrastinating if I have all my materials out. By scrolling through Facebook I’m just taking a little break from the obvious work I’m doing (as can be seen by the sheer amount of papers surrounding me).
After it’s been an hour and I realize I haven’t done anything productive, I get more stressed, more frustrated, and feel worse than if I had actually just decided to take an hour-long break to watch Netflix and crochet. At least in that scenario I could have gotten a hat out of it or something.
I’ve been trying to break this cycle of procrastination by making a definitive list of things I need to finish that day, so that the work I have doesn’t just feel like a menacing, unknown mountain. But, the struggle is still real. And as the mountain grows every day, it becomes harder and harder to manage, and the pull of micro-procrastinations becomes stronger and stronger.
So now, instead of forcing myself to work all the time (which usually ends up with getting no work done), I reward myself with real breaks for doing productive work. It isn’t a fool-proof plan, but hopefully it helps. And hopefully I can start conquering the mountain.