the no bullshit guide to getting your shit together: for the lazy student
Let’s be honest: time management and organization? They’re really hard. Sure, at first you might feel like you’ve gotten the hang of them, that you’re in control of your life. But how often have you fallen off the wagon? Procrastinated on one thing and the next moment, you’re behind in all your classes? I know that sometimes laziness feels like a part of who you are, but honestly, fuck that. Do you really want to give up your success for the disinterest of a moment?
If your answer is no (it better be no, or you really need to get your priorities straight), let’s get to it.
STEP ONE: BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
“This class doesn’t even matter.” “I don’t care about my grades.” “I can finish this the day before.” Sound familiar? You might feel great now, but when you’re staring down at your report card later, it’ll feel like you just got punched.
This is a cliche, but the greatest obstacle to your success is yourself - especially the lies you tell yourself! Sit yourself down and be honest about what you need to improve on. Be as blunt as you can, but for god’s sake, don’t throw yourself a pity party! There’s no use agonizing over what you can’t change. Instead, set realistic, achievable goals, and make a game plan. Struggling with math? Go to extra help. Behind in all your classes? Stay in for a couple nights and actually work.
STEP TWO: STOP WITH THE FANCY SHIT
Now you know what your goals are, but maybe you want some inspiration, so you log on to tumblr and are instantly bombarded by all these beautiful, well lit shots of the most gorgeous bullet journals, planners, and notes. Impressive, right? Well, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: they’re all useless! A simple phone planner works just as well, if not better, than a fancy agenda, because you’ll always have it on you, it’s not a hassle to carry around, and you don’t feel obligated to make it look pretty.
Riddle me this, where are you going to find all this extra motivation to keep prettying up your bullet journal? To write all your notes in perfect, colour coded printing? There aren’t many times in life where taking the easy was out will actually benefit you, so take advantage! Stop wasting your time; get a phone planner and write your notes in your natural goddamn handwriting.
STEP THREE: CLEAN YOUR ROOM
Yep, your entire room - not just your study space! This one can be put on the back burner for a bit if you’re on a really pressing deadline, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m notoriously messy, and if I don’t watch myself, I’d find myself in dirty-laundry-and-old-notes hell. A little bit of organized chaos is fine, I even encourage it! But try working when your desk is covered in mounds of paper and you have nowhere to put your laptop – it’s just not conducive to success.
Keeping your entire room clean is a way to stave off stress, frustration, and even embarrassment, because nobody wants to show potential roommates how much of a mess they are.
STEP FOUR: ACTUALLY WORK
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “actually work? Who does this girl think she is?” I’d probably think the same thing, except I’ve learned the valuable lesson of sucking it the hell up, and you will too. When you get home from work, grab a snack and work. When you have a free period, figure out what’s due and work. Stop reasoning yourself out of work: you’re not going to finish this later, and that will be on the test. There’s really not much to say about this one, because it’s the step that requires the most raw effort, and you’re really only going to find that within yourself. Tell yourself what’s at stake, and realize that, by setting the standard for your mediocrity now, you’re potentially trapping yourself in a cycle that will last for years.
STEP FIVE: CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
Maybe you’ve been on top of your shit for a day, a week, or even a month, and that’s really great. But then… you fail. You miss a deadline or you bomb a test. So what do you do now? Do you allow yourself to fall back into your old habits? Fuck no! Everyone fails, even that studyblr with those perfect bullet journal photos and a perpetually clean study space. I’m going to tell you something that’ll sound really strange: you should value your failures, especially if you worked hard to avoid them. What?! Be HAPPY about failing when I actually TRIED? Yeah, you heard me right. If you don’t know how to handle failure, then when you inevitably experience it, your reaction will be much worse.
Failing hurts, and boy, I know how embarrassing it can be. But learning how to deal with failure, and especially how to keep trying after it happens, is an invaluable lesson.
STEP SIX: TREAT. YO. SELF.
Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you treat yourself after the most basic of tasks, because please. Treat yourself when you know you goddamn well deserve it. Remember that “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” If all you do is study and do your homework, then, pardon my french, your life sucks. If you don’t have friends, play a video game! Eat an entire jumbo chocolate bar! Indulge in whatever the fuck you want, you deserve it. I’m someone that has trouble prioritizing future benefits over immediate gratification, so by allowing myself little pleasures, I save myself from crashing and burning.
Hope these tips helped, but remember to take them with a grain of salt - you’re you and I’m me, and different things work for different people. Good luck!