Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a tip from the master of procrastination

one of the problems with procrastination is that it comes accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of guilt. at least for me it does. when I'm not studying, I'm thinking about how i should be studying, and feeling guilty that I'm not studying. they say that the conscience is the part of you that hurts when everything else feels fine. and it's true. when i get into bed at night, and i close my eyes and wait for exhaustion to claim me, a little voice inside my head starts listing all the things i didn't get to do, and all the topics i don't know that well and have to review again, and the paper that i have to finish writing by the end of the week (which i kept ignoring, and now i can't go to sleep until i finish writing it)

and as bad as a guilty conscience feels, it's a whole lot worse when you're not doing what you should be doing, and everyone around you is doing what they should be doing. sister1 is studying for her CPA exam, and when she is sitting on her bed and studying, and I'm not, i feel so guilty.

there's an area in my college, right near the nursing office, where all the nursing students like to sit to do their work. it's right next to alot of big open windows, and it's very quiet since the only visitors to that area are the cleaning staff and an occasional staff member who goes into a sketchy looking room at the corner of the building. but i still can't study there, because i can't sit and listen to everyone talk about their study schedules and the things they've been doing. even though i know i spend a good portion of my waking time studying for finals, i still get nervous when other people talk about their studying. and before tests i get worse. i think i actually displayed clinical signs and symptoms of a mild panic attack before my first nursing exam. but I've figured out how to calm myself; i take my headphones and my Rubik's cube and go sit in a corner and focus on lining up all the colored squares correctly, and the last thing on my mind is my exam, or last minute cramming.

but I've found a place to study or do work and feel really industrious; the school library. between classes it kind of gets noisy. being that it is a library, and supposed to be a place of quiet and learning, everyone on campus congregates there to eat lunch, play poker, fight, and hang out. (actually, not to hang out so much anymore. since the weather got nicer, the real goofers lounge around on the twenty square feet of grass and pretend they are on a real university campus-they play Frisbee and toss a football. you just gotta watch yourself when walking down the paths, since they play over everyone's heads.) so when it gets really noisy i retreat the upper level of the library which is relatively quiet. that is, when they're not doing construction and drilling. but during class time, there aren't too many people in the library. and those that are there are quiet. but no one's ever doing work. so when i sit there and study, i always feel good about myself.

today when i was in the library, i took note of what everyone else was doing;

at the table to the left of me, a girl sat talking on her phone.

at the table in front of me, two guys sat discussing a movie they had watched the night before.

two tables down, there was a girl doing her toes. yep, she had her feet up on the table. and a bottle of nail polish in her hand. at least she didn't have toe fungus...

even the librarians were goofing off. the two of the six librarians go walking everyday. when it's nice weather outside they walk around the buildings, but when it's cooler, or raining they walk inside. today they were doing laps around the library.

altogether, i left the library feeling quite accomplished


Anonymous said...

Another tip:
If you need to study, think of something more important and use studying to procrastinate from that other thing.

MAK said...

Good tip anonymous, I actually sometimes use that to help me go to sleep, once i think of something I could be doing instead of tossing and turning, I get really tired. I love reverse-psychology. And FCG, I feel EXACTLY the same when everyone else is talking about studying or grades, even if I'm doing lots of studying, I still feel guilty.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

You talking about Brooklyn College? I personally can't find one good place to study there myself; it's either too noisy or too quiet.

(It's a REAL struggle for me to be able to concentrate; it's been going on for years (concentrate on studying that is. ..I can concentrate on Gemara almost anywhere). the meantime I'm decided on the public library..)

FBB said...

Quit procrastinating and give us a new post!