I didn’t know how to start this because it was hard to take in the fact that we’re halfway through the semester. It’s reading week and we’ve completed 75% of the academic year (for those of us not taking summer semesters). For me, this is the last stretch until I’m done undergrad. When did that happen? I AM NOT READY.
I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone goes through this slump halfway through, where you just don’t put in as much effort as you did at the start of the semester. You have goals and concrete plans on how to get there, but somewhere along the way, it just doesn’t happen. You’re in denial of life and responsibilities after reading week or you’re dreaming about your summer plans already. Let’s just say it. Lazy. That’s what we become. But there is a way out. There is an escape. There is a way to get back on track.
Here’s a few strategies that have helped me overcome my couch potato-ism:
Re-focus, Re-organise, and Schedule
Goals. Think about this for a moment. What is your goal and why do you want to achieve it? How will you achieve it? What is stopping you from achieving it?
Once you have the answers to that, you can begin reorienting your focus towards priority-goals, you can begin organising, and scheduling time for different activities in order to get on top of it all. An important part of this is to be realistic with your expectations. If you’re similar to me and know it takes you a good half an hour or so to settle in and actually start your work, then be aware of it and leave some extra time for those hours. I also believe that your study spot needs to be clutter-free, but that’s just me. Maybe you work best in a mess.
Support – Talk to People
Talk to your peers, get some motivation, support, help, or maybe some missing notes. Email your TAs or Professors to get the answers to questions that may be posing as an obstacle that isn’t letting you get started. Visit the Academic Success or its equivalent in your program. You can even get in touch with librarians online.
Accept Bad Habits, Work Around Them
I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to be negative about themselves and everything around them when encountering failure. Social media and the abundance of discouraging memes has made bad habits a norm. It’s made it difficult for us to get up and focus on a solution for it. We all procrastinate, we all get stressed, and we all get frustrated, but practicing mindfulness is being aware of it all and still continuing to get things done.
It all takes a while to get used to, so start gradually. A few tasks the first day, a few more the next, take a day off for sleep and leisure, and finish up the next day. Setting up that routine again is all it takes. Once you’re able to figure out what steps you need to succeed, then all that’s left is implementing those strategies into your life. But for now, Happy Reading Week!