So you have a huge to do list to complete and you really want to sleep, but you know you can’t because there would be no power in the whole world that would get you out of bed if you’ll lay on it? Yeah, I know that feeling all too well. As a student… let’s just say it is almost a daily struggle. So what to do? I have seriously quite many ideas for you but since I know you are supposed to be working/ studying right now, I will give you five. Maybe we can make this into a series if you feel interested 😉
- Get up and do some jumping jacks or push ups or just walk. Honestly I know this feels like the dumbest thing ever. What, I’m supposed to do fitness stuff when I want to sleep. Yeah not gonna happen. But honestly you don’t have to do it for hours. Just a couple of movements and a little bit of stretching will get your blood pumping and your heart beating and the best part is since you are moving your brain gets activated because it is getting a signal that stuff is happening. So, move you booty!
- Go make yourself a tea or coffee, eat some fruit. This is helpful again because you actually move, you get some nutrients in ya that you brain might just like, annnnd you get to do something else than just stare at the screen or book, without actually understanding shit. But after the pause actually get back to work….no honestly, yeah… I see you on the Instagram… you can’t fool me. I’m the queen of procrastination, I know whats going down when no ones watching.
- Chew gum. It activates your brain more because again you are actually doing something. Don’t over do it. But especially if you know you have to remember something, chew gum and use the same flavor in the exam. 😉
- Make a realistic to do list. And this is kind of a tip for before you even start working. In the morning (or the night before) you think you are a superwoman(or man) and you can get anything done. Writing a report in 5 minutes? No problem! Then the next day you look at the 50 item to-do list and you start snoring before you finish reading it… So actually make it realistic.
- Meditate, journal and/or do some breathing exercises. This make you get to the present moment. To some this will sound very spiritual, but honestly it is just as well psychological. (If you want to make it spiritual be my guest, I myself do it so) How ever if you aren’t into the “voovoo” stuff; here is how I would do it. I would sit down, put calm nature/classical music on and concentrate on the breathing. Nothing more nothing less. This makes you calm down your nervous system and makes you more creative and relaxed. This in turn especially if you make it a routine makes you, more productive. Journaling is also great because it releases all of your brain space. Instead of having 50 things in your mind, you know you have it written down and you can get back to it later, and surprisingly enough you don’t get tired as easily. Why? Because you aren’t busy trying to make you brain shut up. Ever had those moments of writing an essay and having to constantly tell yourself to stop thinking about xyz and no you don’t have to do that other task now rather than writing etc. All of this is by the way also proven scientifically, so go ahead give it a try!
As you might have noticed none of these tips were how to miraculously work through 48 hours and not sleep at all. What this was; plan things smarter and take smart breaks not to be dead. It seriously does work. So go and have a try. Oh and make sure not to disregard these tips because you can’t apply them 100% If you work a very busy job while going to the bathroom do a breathing exercise, or on the bus. If you can go get a cup of coffee, stand up at you desk. If nothing else with a pretense of searching for a paper etc. You can always do something for self-care. And if your company doesn’t allow that, trust me when I say you can find better. Maybe not right now, but you can.
As always thanks for reading and comment down below if you want to ask something or add something!
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When you play Super Mario, despite sometimes killing him of, you usually try again, and again…. and again. Sometimes this lasts for so long, you end up losing track of time, causing you to fail at doing something actually productive. But you can actually learn a lot from your games. There are numerous studies done, showing how gaming (a reasonable amount) is actually healthy and good for development. It helps with problem solving, motor skills and improves creativity. But today I am not talking about those benefits. I am however very open to write about that, if you are interested.
My topic today is about turning your actual life into a game. This is not originally my idea, a lot of people on YouTube and on their blogs, do challenges and use apps to make their life into a game. Some examples are Thomas Frank, The Goal Guys and Max Hertan.
What does it mean in practice? It means first of all that you have a goal. It could be writing a 10 page essay, or learning to do a split in 30 days. What ever your goal is, it can be gamefied. How to do it? I will break it down bellow, just like a real life video game, everyone will have their own approach, so feel free to tweak anything that you feel necessary.
- Have a goal. In a video game like Super Mario, it could be getting through a level or defeating Bowser. If it is defeating Bowser, you use the levels as your steps, until you are at the final showdown. If it is getting through a level your steps will be on a shorter scale, like jumping in the right place and killing the right enemy at the write time. So just like in a game, with a goal you have to come up with steps to win.
- Track your progress in a visible way. It wouldn’t be fun to play Mario or any other game, if you could never see how many enemies you have killed, or if you would never level up. That is the same in a real life goal. If you want to learn splits, make sure you document your progress. Even if you aren’t as close as you want to be to a split, at least you can see how far you have come, if you for example take pictures. Or you could mark in your calendar daily how many minutes you have stretched etc.
- Reward yourself. This is slightly controversial. There are a lot of people who are super successful, that think this is not helpful. And if you only do things because of a treat, instead of feeling the pride for getting healthier or for getting the project done. I can understand the concern. However I assume, that people don’t want to do things that seem big and daunting without some kind of small wins in between. So stretch while you watch a series you love. It’s two birds with one stone and it is more fun that way as well. Or after each page you have written of the essay you can go scratch your puppy. Make sure it is something that you don’t over do the rewarding tho. You don’t deserve to binge watch youtube for stretching your hamstrings for 2 seconds.
- Keep it real. if you start too many goals, too many projects and you try to make everything into a game, you might lose. You can’t play Mario, Call of Duty and solve the Rubik’s Cube all at the same time. The same thing with goals. Don’t beat yourself up for falling down or not getting through a level. Only beat yourself up, if you didn’t get back up to try again.
Here are some apps to helps you gamify your goals/tasks:
- Habitica: Gamify Your tasks
- Forest: Stay Focused
- Fitness RPG- Gamify your Pedometer
- Do it Now- RPG To Do List/ Task List
These are some of the apps you will get on an android device. I am sure there are many for the Apple phones as well.
Thanks for reading! This post was really fun to write, as this is something I want to incorporate more into my life, to get more exciting and interesting things done (as well as the mandatory ones). What are some of your goals you would like to turn into a game?
Thanks for reading 😉 Untill next time
Tomorrow, I will start my new life. I will get 25 things done (half of which take 5h each) I will learn 20 languages and I will never, ever put things off ever again. And what happens the next morning at 5 am? Snooooooooooze.
So what what is the act of putting things of called? Procrasitnation.
Why do we procrastinate? If we are talking from a human experience point of view I would say we procrastinate for couple of reasons. Some more acceptable than others.
- Fear of Failure We as humans need to succeed. Failing has often this humiliating affect on us. Instead of accepting that we learned how not to do something, we think we just failed for the rest of our lives. So the next time we don’t even try (and lets be honest. That is the real failure)
- Bad health habits. Now there is a lot of research done on how to optimize your brain and one of those ways is to be healthy. So eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising and sleeping enough. It is quite simple … how ever sometimes we seem to procrastinate on becoming healthy… what a vicious cycle it is.
- Being addicted to something; in today’s age it is increasingly easy to boast about how you don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. BUT do you perhaps touch your phone every 6 minutes? Because that is an addiction. If someone would alcohol every 6 minutes or smoke a cigarette that often, you wouldn’t question that they have an addiction but somehow with phones it isn’t the same?
If we discuss why we procrastinate from a biological/ physical point of view its due to our brains being structured to not want to do things that are difficult or that we are afraid of. So if our brain senses a danger (aka we dread a project) it automatically puts us into a mode of resistance to the hard thing, and we reach for the phone or what ever it is that we rather do. (Even though we are more adapted to resist difficult things do not make this your excuse, you’ll just live a miserable life.) Read more here: Science Behind Procrastination
How do we make sure that we leave procrastination to the minimal? (sometimes we are allowed to stumble)
- Place in routines that help you. Start your morning smartly. Instead of procrastinating getting up, make your alarm ring across your room (and don’t let it be your phone) Do maybe a couple of jumping jacks so you don’t feel like going back into bed. Wash your face with cold water …or take a cold shower. (it suck to take it btw.) But when you do difficult things right in the morning, when you are somehow still able to resist temptation it makes your rest of the day less resistance based.
- Figure out the issues you have: Is the project too large to conceptualize right away? Well make it into small sections, e.g. research, take notes, write paragraph 1-3 and 4-6 and lastly 6-10, proof read, come up with a good title, write down the resources you used and send it. Often times people get into this head space of the end goal. If you are obese and your eventual goal is to be a body builder, you will have to find small wins along the way. It can’t count as a failure if you don’t wake up next morning with six pack abs after eating healthy once or going to the gym once. With this logic it can’t be counted as a failure to take smaller steps in completing a project either.
- Figure out what motivates you. Not on a short term. But on a bigger scale. Is it being proud of doing the things you promised yourself you would do. Maybe you want to feel beautiful and healthy. Maybe you don’t like being stressed all the time. What ever it is for you, link your goals to feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction and joy. Things won’t bring joy on a longer time line. So don’t count yourself to deserve a coffee if you get done with a project. It is very easy to talk yourself into having a coffee because your need a pick me up. Trying to believe that you will be proud of yourself even if you fail in an exam, isn’t that easy.
What do you guys struggle with the most when it comes to procrastination? Leave it down in the comments. Would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and until next time.
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired
1st some science: Science shows that there are people who are more likely to be lazy and those who are less likely and it is a lot to do with our genes. So there is such a thing as “couch potato gene”. Essentially what it does makes us have fewer dopamine receptors, that means that we aren’t going to be awarded as easily for the activities we do by our brains. (And while this is usually related with sports, it is just as accurate with other daily tasks) And really we don’t have many idiots who do things without awards. So when does this become a problem?
When is laziness a problem?
It becomes a problem when instead of living your life you just exist. At least for me, that is an issue. I have realized that I am bored with life. I just go through the motions. I go to school see my friends once in a while and other than that I just watch YouTube. Don’t get me wrong. Having a pause and go through social media is great, sometimes. It can’t be your life. And really, you watching dog videos or insta pics is something that makes our brains even lazier. Why should you do anything when you get a dopamine hit right from the comfort of your bed. And this is how the vicious cycle starts. So what to do?
What are my 5 tips?
- Force yourself to do more things. Put yourself into projects and situations from which you can’t back out of easily. I am doing to projects now where there is quite a bit on my shoulders and me backing out of them would just seem pathetic. Of course, if it would be a life or death thing, it’d be different. I wouldn’t go there if I’d be in a car crash. BUT I am not comfortable just letting them hear an excuse, you know?
- This is related to the last tip but: Add things to your calendar so you just don’t have time to lazy around for 5 hours. Look it’s easier to be lazy when you have only like 4 lessons a week and you seem to have so much free time. But what if you work, have a couple of extra projects and then also some of your own goals? This is not to say that you should work yourself to death. But when you don’t have too much extra time you are forced to organize your time. There is no; “I’ll do this later” because you literally don’t have any time later. Or you don’t want to risk it in case of something coming up. And I mean I am sure all of us also want to see our friends right?
- Do not sleep in. I know half of you hate me right now because you love to sleep and the other half because you have heard this so many times. But at least for me if I sleep more than 7 -8 hours I feel very sluggish. And sometimes it’s fine. But if you want to stop being lazy becoming sluggish and having a heavy head is not doing you any favors. Most people are at their best when they sleep 6 to 8 hours (depends on your age) and this is something I have found to be true.
- If you, however, sleep in, start your day slow, that doesn’t mean all your hope is gone and you have an excuse to be lazy all day. (Sorry old me and anyone who uses this as an excuse) Look just this weekend both days I slept in. I gave myself permission, to be honest, because I have been a bit sick and don’t want to make it worse and after sleeping in I got this sluggish feeling like I often do. Saturday I only started working after 4pm. I went for a walk before that and took a cool shower to wake me up. Then I just got paper and wrote the things that are on the top of my head (those things usually are the ones that bother you the most thus very likely to be a high priority) I didn’t do all on that list but I can honestly say I was productive for at least 4 hours. And that is way more than nothing I could have done because I didn’t wake up at 5 like I would have liked to)
- If you don’t do the little things don’t expect yourself to have the energy to do the big things. If you are too lazy to brush your teeth, wash your face, make your bed, get dressed properly; why the f*** would you have the energy to finish a project or go for a run? All the small things count. You give yourself momentum when you finish the small tasks. And if you start your day by choosing that those things aren’t important why would anything else be? Just be a smelly blob for a day and wonder why you can’t make yourself do anything… I’ve been there and done that and you know what. It isn’t a very positive space to be in. This is why so many highly efficient people are obsessed with routines. If they can finish up a good routine be it in the morning, gym or evening. It builds momentum for the day or the next day.
Bonus tip: Do not burn yourself up. I don’t want you to faint one day and say it was because I told you to keep yourself so busy you can’t ever be lazy, because that is not my goal at all. Quite frankly once I have perfected my calendar I want to cross out Sunday totally and make it just a funday. It doesn’t matter if it’s for friends or for me to just be in bed and watch a movie. The main point is just for it to be free for whatever I want it to be. Also, this isn’t the only day you have a right to be lazy or to have fun. If your steps for your goals have been met on a Monday by say 4pm you have a right to go out with friends or whatever you want. Don’t have to form an army routine. BUT at first, an army routine might be helpful so that the “couch potato gene” doesn’t get you.
Thanks for reading and good luck with battling laziness!
More posts by me:
5 things I’ve learned while trying to change my life
Stars sentenced to death
I am not sitting on a high horse here, I swear to god I do these things too. I just think we should pay attention to these things more.
- Stop saying sorry for how you look. Even if you haven’t tried to “put yourself together” you have absolutely NO reason to apologize how you look. Just be unapologetically you. It’s the best thing for yourself you can do.
- Stop saying you are OCD, depressed etc. Sure you might be precise in something or feel like shit once in a while. But unless you actually suffer from these conditions it sounds almost demeaning. I mean is it OCD to make your bed daily? No, that is not even close to what OCD is. Same thing with depression. And if you keep telling yourself you are depressed all the time, even if you just have a shitty moment in a day, who says it won’t become the truth? Concentrating on the bad definitely makes you more likely to only notice that.
- Stop trying to justify what you are doing to others. As long as you aren’t doing anything illegal or hurting someone, you don’t owe anyone anything. So stop explaining. Just do what you want/need to do, and let everyone else stress about your life if they want to do that. That is their problem, not yours. Trying to get validation from everyone just makes sure you never live your life and that is not something you want to realize when you are 80…
- Stop talking about motivation. Try to eliminate that word even from the thoughts you have. (I don’t feel like it goes into the same category.) If there is no such thing as motivation or feeling like doing something you have no excuse not to do that thing.
- Stop talking shit about others. I am going to be realistic, you sometimes will feel like shit about someone and what they did or said. But you will save time if you don’t gossip about them.
- Stop scrolling your phone in the morning and in the evening when its bedtime. The bed should be a no phone zone. I am not good at this. But it will make your day start better and it will make you feel more sleepy in the evening when social media hasn’t filled you with things to think about. And we all know what the blue light does!
- Stop listening to music all the time. (I say as I write this and listen to music…) but the idea is that we need to get used to silence as well. How often have you spent a proper amount of time with no phone and no music or video on the background? If you can’t be calm in silence that isn’t normal. It isn’t good for you. It technically means you can’t be one on one with yourself. I am one of these people. How do you know if you are too? Just close all sources of noise and see how long you last before you feel uncomfortable. If you can’t last more than an hour, or you feel anxious you should get used to silence.
- Stop planning. I am a planner. I write what I should do and when and how long it will take me and how amazing it would be to achieve xyz. But do I achieve these things? No. I just talk and talk and talk and I think I will do them when I feel like it and motivated… wait but I can’t use those terms… so I must do it now or realize it isn’t a priority.
- Stop saying yes to things you don’t want to do. Rather just say no I can’t/ don’t want to do something that promises that you will do it and then have to come up with a legit sounding excuse to why you need to cancel. It will make you less stressed when you feel like you need to do way more than you can. And it will make you more reliable because when you say yes it actually means yes.
- Stop leaving stuff where it doesn’t belong. Don’t leave those pants on the floor, or the pens into the wrong drawer. Make your life easier for yourself and just put everything where it belongs. Trust me not only will you save time, you will feel calmer and collected when your room doesn’t look like a tornado hit it.
In the end, these habits aren’t really that difficult to change, but in the long run, they will save you time, make you feel better about yourself and really they just make you seem more like an adult. So let’s all try to stop doing this, shall we!
Thanks for reading! What is the most difficult thing on the list, for you?
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
The sound of silence by Disturbed
In Finland full on icky autumn is here. The first verse of the song quoted above is like the best description of what it’s like here. Dark, wet and just dead. And yet, I still do not want to let myself sink to the bottom of the frozen river and be all mopey. (Thought it is tempting and I slip once in a while)
How to improve our experiences about this autumn, alone and together. Even if the weather isn’t the best right now (Disclaimer; I like early autumn, but this time with no light and nothing but rain? Nope!)
- Light a candle or 50. Candles give a cosy and warm atmosphere to the cold and dark. Plus Christmas (Holidays if you don’t celebrate Christmas) is soon here, might as well prepare right?
- Do not just sit around. The worst thing that autumn does to a person, is make them tired and just a blob. We feel like there is nothing to do. It rains out so going out on a walk is meh and if its dark its also meh, so we settle for just being a blob. But do not let yourself do that. Go out even if it rains. (“Yeah hi, it’s me your umbrella, yeah I still exist, its kinda stuffy in the closet all the time ya know”) or if its literally pouring cat and dogs just do a small dance around your room to Christmas music. (Yes I’ve done it, and yes it was great.)
- Spend time with friends and family. Look we feel like we are sad company, like we have nothing to give because I mean, blobs don’t talk ya know? But really we should go out. Grab a hot coco that costs like at least 3€ too much. Having a sugar high and spending time with friends or family to take away your mind from the wind, rain and dark for a while. And that is exactly what we need, to think about the good not the bad.
Thanks for reading and have a cozy autumn <3