SO. I realised on Wednesday that it was still October. I say this because I started my MA on the first of October, and my last seminar before Reading Week was the 30th October. This isn't a complaint so much as a complete disbelief on my part that I've only been doing this a month and I'm already so tired and have read so very much. Honestly, I don't really know how I've done it, except that this last week quite a bit of vodka has gone missing from my bottle and so it's been pretty great.
Anyway. Let's talk about procrastination! (Not vodka. Even though it's the best.) I am the absolute worst for procrastination. When I have to do something, I automatically don't want to do it- you could probably ask me to go to a moomin festival or something, and because I was required to go, I just wouldn't want to. It's the most ridiculous, self-defeating way to live ones life, and I know that, but seriously you guys, I CAN'T HELP IT.
I basically need this, daily.
So anyway. Here's what I'm procrastinating from at the moment: I have to write two seminar papers, which are basically thousand word essays (that I have to READ OUT. IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. I'm trying to ignore that part completely) on obviously Shakespearey things, and I basically have less than three weeks to write one, and less than four weeks to write the other (I'm the genius who picked these weeks, too. Bad times.) It's not like I can't write a thousand words in super fast time- I'm pretty sure I've written reviews here that were longer than that, sorry guys- and it's not like I'm incapable of picking topics, reading about them, and then writing about them.
I AM ABLE TO DO ALL OF THESE THINGS SO WHY CAN'T I JUST DO THEM?!
I'm actually being quite incredibly hard on myself right now, because pretty much the reason I haven't done them is because I've been trying to get all the reading done for each week of learning, whilst simultaneously doing the exact same amount of paid work as I was doing before I started reading a Shakespeare play a week, plus countless articles about him. Really I'm just telling myself off because it's Saturday (as in, my first day off of actually everything for a month) and I haven't started working on these essays yet. CUT ME SOME SLACK, ME!
So, I'm glad we worked out these issues together. Good talk, everyone. More things that are going on: My dad is home from hospital at last! It kind of hasn't sunk in for me because I haven't really had time to see him more than I was before, but it is comforting to know that he's home, and it was really nice on Thursday because my mum came round to drop some stuff off and actually stayed for a coffee, which she really wouldn't have been able to do if he was still in hospital because she's been running around like a headless chicken for basically four months.
What else... Well, I've been watching The Hollow Crown, which is this BBC series of films of Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two, and Henry V; which is totally the best of both worlds because I feel like I'm doing useful work when really (really) I'm kind of just watching the TV. Yesterday afternoon I watched Richard II, and I did watch the first part of Henry IV on Wednesday but kind of... fell asleep. So I'm probably going to watch that again, is what I'm saying. BUT it has given me a crush on Tom Hiddleston so there's that. I've also become disturbingly obsessed with Samuel Beckett because I read Endgame and it was kind of everything to me, so yesterday I spent a ridiculous amount on his complete works in Waterstones (BUT... £10 off with my loyalty card so YESSSS. The fact that I've spent £100 in Waterstones... Less yes). I can't even process how I like Beckett, but I feel like if you've read The Outsider by Camus and liked it, then you'll kind of be into Beckett? They're connected in my brain at the moment, anyway.
So. This has been my life, yes. I'm going to try and stop being hard on myself whilst simultaneously actually doing the work that I've been moaning about not doing. I just need to talk myself out of basically reading this blog post as one of the presentations... YOU HAVE SAID FUCK TOO MANY TIMES, LAURA, JUST NO.
And how are you all?
Mmmm, vodka. My favorite. And yay, I'm glad that your dad is home from the hospital! That's at least one thing that is now a tiny bit less stressful.ReplyDelete
Laura, stop being so hard on yourself! You feel better now, yes? Good. *pats self on back*
Vodka is the best. Very good stuff. It is very yay that he's home! Very pleased about that :)Delete
I am definitely going to stop being hard on myself! But not so much that I get nothing done, which I think may be where the fear lies. I'll get stuff done! I know it!
Interesting. That's the second Beckett recommendation I've seen this week. Also YESSSS THE HOLLOW CROWN AND HIDDLESTON. I hate to say I told you so... but I totally did. :PReplyDelete
Oh really?! How straaaaange! I can't tell if I was in love with it just because it's so different to Shakespeare and I needed that, or because it's a kind of depressing worldview that I totally relate to... Either way, LOVED.Delete
You totally did tell me so, and nice work for that! I am... disturbingly into naughty Prince Hal Hiddleston. Mmmmmmm...
Yeah - you need to give yourself a break :)ReplyDelete
I think the main thing I don't miss about university (among the many things I *do* miss) is the feeling that there's always something you could be doing. I obviously didn't worry too much about that when I was an undergraduate because I was 20 and ridiculous and far too much enjoying student nights out but when I was doing my Legal Practice Course, I was always conscious that there was something that I could be doing that was constructive. But my genuine, not just because it's convenient view is that by having down time, you're really just making the time that you are working more constructive because you're appropriately rested. Also, it's better to do 2 hours of focussed work than it is to waste 5 sort of trying to work. See how good I am at making up principles that let me read more and work less?!
You're soooooo right about 2 hours solid work being better than 5 hours shitty work though, man. Like, I know I can read an article in was less time if I give in my full attention than if I read it with the tv on and other people in the room... but I don't do it all the time because I'm like 'ugh, moving, and also I don't want to work that hard?' But I still have to read the same thing... I don't know, I'm just getting used to this whole learning thing again, man! I'll probably have it all figured out just as the year is ending lolDelete
Welcome back to education, where being forced to do the stuff you enjoy sucks all the enjoyment out of it. haha! Charlotte's right though, a couple of concentrated hours of work is better than a full day of sporadic work. I always try and set myself little goals, so I'll write out a timeline of what I need to get done and every time I hit a milestone I can take a break and read a chapter of my own book or watch an episode of Futurama. You basically mould your procrastination to fit your study. And if you hit a real slump, I always feel better if I do *something* even if it's something small and dumb. So editing a chapter of my thesis or writing up the bibliography etc. It might not be much in the grand scheme of things, but it's something y'know?ReplyDelete
Literally, it's so ridiculous Kayleigh! Like I'm reading this novel that I actually quite like, but because I have to do a presentation on it (bricking it) so I have to study it sort of intently, I have literally no interest in reading it. SUCH A MORON, for reals.Delete
I feel you with the doing just a little thing, thing. Like, if I'm not feeling it, I can still always, ALWAYS read like one act of whatever play I'm supposed to be reading. Because that's Shakespeare, man.
That is definitely the bad side of education. Although at least you can choose when to do your work, whereas if you're stuck in an office all day you're forced to do it during the time rather than a time when you might actually be able to do it better. If that makes sense. (I hate offices!)ReplyDelete
I find that when I have stuff that I'm procrastinating, the best thing to do is to set a timer for 20 -30 minutes and tell myself that I am going to do it for that amount of time (because that's not too daunting), and then I can have a break. A lot of the time if I do that I find that I'm able to carry on working past that 20 minutes, I just needed to actually start! I think that the more your procrastinate stuff the bigger and scarier it seems!
Mind you, it does seem like you haven't so much been procrastinating as just being super busy, and I think you're also allowed to relax a bit, especially on Sundays!
And yay for your dad being out of hospital!!!
Ah, I can do it whenever I want EXCEPT the time I'm at work, which seriously reduces study time. Which I obviously only want to do during working hours because I'm a fucking idiot.Delete
Starting is defffff a big thing for me. I've left essays till the weekend before they're due, and then can literally write them in about 8 hours or whatever, it's just the starting that's the killer (I say 'have', I kind of did this for all essays in my BA except for my dissertation. I am TERRIBLE.)
Yay for that thing indeed! And YAY for your news, missus! I haven't been able to comment on your blog because I haven't been near an actual computer for ages, and touchscreen commenting bugs me, but that is so exciting!
Maybe the frantic just-before-deadline adrenaline will be good for your writing! I mean, really, follow Charlotte and Kayleigh's advice first cos that is way better.ReplyDelete
Yay for your dad getting out of the hospital! And yay vodka!
Oh Alley, that's what I told myself with every essay when I was an undergrad. It wasn't true then and I don't think it'll be true now. SAD TIMES because I fucking love an essay writing weekend. One weekend me and my housemate both had to write two essays over the weekend, and we just casually went to brunch on the Sunday... It was amazing.Delete
YAY FOR BOTH THOSE THINGS! Especially vodka, which is the tits. Also, strawberry and lime cider.
Hi Laura! *waves like crazy* Wish we had "reading week" in America, but my University only had 1 "reading day" before the following week of Finals exams. Yes, "FINALS" pretty much stands for "Fuck, I Never Actually Learned Shit". I'm in the same boat - as soon as you tell me to do something, I REFUSE.ReplyDelete
Therefore, I have to train myself like a circus animal in order to not procrastinate. Seriously, I have chocolates and savory treats lined up next to a timetable that I write out, and I treat myself for being good and accomplishing that task as I go down the list.
Don't be so hard on yourself, and break all your work into bite sized pieces so you're not writing/reading tons and tons in one sitting. Break it all up with snack breaks, quick youtube videos, and a brisk walk for some fresh air.
Glad your dad is feeling much better, by the way! :) Wishing him a steady path to full recovery!