How funny – one moment you’re going to bed at dawn after a night of idly browsing the internet then in another you discover you have a term test, two papers, and the rest of exams following shortly. This has been my life in a nutshell this week.
There was a point where I was keeping relatively on top of my work and was pretty satisfied with my productivity. Until there was a point in the semester where I virtually lost all motivation or drive to be productive in and of itself. It’s a little mind boggling to me why I abruptly began to feel this way. Was I getting bored with my courses? Was I not happy with them? What exactly did it for me? I struggled with these thoughts every time I sat down at my desk in the last two weeks to get any work done. Because I had gotten little to no work done.
Or did I?
I’ve been noticing that if I don’t achieve everything or mostly everything on my to-do list for said day, then I consider it a failure altogether. “I didn’t do enough”, I would tell myself. And each day I dreaded the thought of studying because of this pre-set idea that I wouldn’t do “enough”.
Consequently, I didn’t have the energy or drive to do more than last time. Why? If I had just recognized the little that I managed to do instead of belittling it, wouldn’t that boost the morale to keep working?
In the week that had just passed, I tried doing just this. There was a day that I wanted to study Korean and finish my notes on the newest lesson, I also wanted to work on my paper for a history class; I studied Korean and didn’t end up getting to the history paper. But I still studied Korean. I actually had a meeting with my TA for that same history paper so that has got to go toward something too.
Although, I didn’t work on the essay that day but there were other things I achieved that day. I had put off creative writing to focus on school but I gave myself permission that day to spend time on it. And honestly, I feel a lot more refreshed now. I remembered how much I enjoyed my hobby and it actually prompted me to spend more time on my studies so I can have amble time for my favourite pastimes.
With productivity, we tend to focus too much on what we don’t achieve if we don’t exceed the things we set out to do within a time frame. I think we should work to appreciate our efforts, whether there’s some or none at all, we sometimes forget that there’s an opportunity try again. Most of all, I’ve been asking myself: what does this history paper mean to me?
Quite frankly, my brain sees it as a all or none circumstance. When for me, this is just one of many papers.