Over the past week and a half or so, studying has become far more a part of my life than it had been for the previous two months of the semester. However, it has also been a much healthier part of my life than it was in my first two years of college, especially since I am now doing most of my work during daylight hours rather than between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m… Let’s not get into it. I think the problem there is pretty self-explanatory.
I have had so much schoolwork due over the past two weeks! Add in an off-campus job that takes up most of my weekends, seemingly endless meetings with professors regarding registration and future planning, group project work sessions, worship team rehearsals two or three times a week, cooking my own meals (an amount of commitment that sometimes seems small for a full-time Hope student)… It all adds up, and if I’m not careful, this can easily turn into a schedule that forces me into that doing homework during the hours of death when no one should ever be awake. Ever. Though I still cannot say I have been sleeping as much as I should, I have actually figured out ways to give myself the opportunity to sleep for several consecutive hours at night instead of taking two hour naps at random times of day, such as 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Yep, let’s not get into that lifestyle either, folks. There’s a reason it gets dark outside each and every day.
This year, my homework method involves maximizing the time I am awake when normal humans are awake, and making the most of any time I’m not at work, in class, at rehearsal, or in meetings. I try to get up around 6 a.m. each morning to make it to Lemonjello’s or JP’s by about 6:45, or to get to rehearsal at 7 if I am singing with worship team in chapel that day. On those days, I head to the library or one of the coffeeshops as soon as I’m out of rehearsal. I grab a cup of coffee (actually necessary so early in the morning), take out my laptop, and go to work. Thankfully, my pal Sarah has been coming to these early morning homework sessions with me. Having someone there to chat with in between homework assignments can make the early mornings seem way less miserable. I try to stay wherever I plant myself in the morning until I run home to eat lunch and then head to class. After class, I usually try to head to the library until dinner, and then I come back after dinner and stay until at least 11 working on homework (or tonight, a blog post!). I think the most important part of all this is that I only go home to eat meals and to sleep at night. Going home in the middle of the day always sucks me into a bottomless pit of laziness, but being in a setting where I am used to getting work done keeps me productive.
You’ll also notice that I do not do homework in my room. I actually try to avoid doing any homework in any part of my house. I’m pretty sure our brains get trained to recognize our location and what we typically do when we are in that spot. If that’s not a scientifically proven fact, it should be. Someone work on that, please. Therefore, when I go to my room, my brain knows that it’s probably time to start getting prepared to sleep. When I sit in my dining room, my brain knows it’s time for a break. When I walk into LJ’s, my brain knows it’s time to get work done like crazy. This consistency has been key in getting a lot of work done over the past couple weeks.
Sometimes when I am doing so much work all day, it gets really hard to stay motivated. However, I recently found a video from a Pinterest link that talked about motivation (you know, because sometimes when you aren’t feeling productive you look up ways to be productive on Pinterest, hoping that these few clicks will somehow subliminally make you become more motivated and productive through technological osmosis… Or something.). The synopsis of the video was as follows: Saying “I don’t feel like it” doesn’t change anything except your productivity. Don’t let “I don’t feel like it” control anything about your life because it won’t do anything except mess stuff up.
Hm. Makes sense, right? And it’s so simple that I definitely should not have needed to watch a video to make me understand it. But here we are.
Today I spent over nine hours working on the same assignment. It was tedious and frustrating at times. But now it’s almost done, even though for most of the day I didn’t really feel like working on it. Take control of your attitude and productivity, drag yourself out of bed, drink a cup of coffee, and make it happen! Maybe, just maybe, there really are enough hours in the day. Usually.
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!”