There’s something about being a student that seems to invite procrastination. Whether it’s through blogging, listening to your favourite musical on endless repeat, watching old tv shows or even just flicking idly through recipes in order to ‘get inspired for dinner’ – it’s not going to happen, you’re just going to have soup like always – there’s somehow no way to escape the mindlessness that comes when you’ve got to get an assignment done. Even if it’s an assignment you enjoy, there’s always something more interesting. In my case, there’s some really urgent washing up. The washing machine lining needs cleaning. Actually, that one’s true, the washing machine lining has some exciting mould (almost gone! don’t worry!)
Today I set myself a to-do list with five things on it. Those things were:
1. Bassoon practice
4. Talk to mum re:trains
5. Arrange a gym class session
I completed three of those things, and that’s only because one of them is so vague all I had to do was send one measly text. If you’re interested, the two I failed at were the gym based ones, which somehow does’t surprise me because one of those involves leaving the house and the other involves sending an email/ ringing the gym.
What I found was that getting the tasks done required nothing more than just sitting down (or standing up; I never practice sitting down. There are never any chairs in the recital room without arms) and just doing them. Just doing them was all it took, all I needed to do my composition task. It’s finished now; I did 50% of it in about an hour. The other 50% took me probably three times that, just because I was on the internet. And that’s probably nothing new to anyone, and it certainly wasn’t news to me. I already knew that multitasking reduces your efficiency dramatically. I just never kind of… connected it to my efficiency. It’s the difference between knowing and comprehending, I guess.
But doing that saved me so much time. I’d rather spend two hours just doing an assignment than spend a week not really doing it but sort of making progress. There’s probably something to be said for setting an hour to do a task and then taking a break to do all your misc. internet business. Tumblr can wait for half an hour, you’re not an internet phenomenon. (unless you are. why are you here, internet phenomenon?????) I expect I’d get my essays done a lot more quickly if I could just do that every time instead of faffing around going “but I haven’t written my 200 words yet, I can’t stop!”
Technically speaking this composition exercise took me 12 days to do, because I spent so long each day with the sibelius file open just staring at it. It’s not going to magically change just because I didn’t blink for ten minutes, I have no idea why I didn’t just do something more productive. like descale the kettle for the billionth time this week, yeah, sounds like a worthwhile way to spend the afternoon.
Somewhat ironically, this very post was derailed multiple times because I absolutely had to check my tumblr notifications. I guess I haven’t really learnt anything after all.