by Alexis Everett

Recently, I have noticed that I am in a bit of a stump. I have absolutely no motivation to do anything at all. My room has been a mess, all I want to do is hang out with my friends, and I am constantly on my phone. I’ve been struggling especially with getting my work done. In fact, in my own laziness, I have created a standard routine for myself in order to have it in on time: wake up at 5am, do as much work as I can till 6:30am, do as much homework as I can before morning meeting starts, work during lab and X in the L, sometimes cram if I have to during other classes, etc. As you can probably tell, I am not doing too well. I think that anyone can see that this needs to change. So, I have created a list of things I am starting to do in order to hopefully get out of this stump! Hopefully, if you are struggling like me, this list of things will help you to be back on your A-game!

1.) Create a to-do list

I think that this might be one of the most helpful things to do in order to bounce back! Personally, I use my school agenda to fill out all of my school related assignments. Next to these assignments, I create a checkbox and a time estimate. Along with this, I create a to-do list in the Notes app on my photo where I put things that are loosely related to school and other tasks that I need to get done. Next to some of them I have an asterisk, which means that it is something that I need to complete that day. Once I complete something, I check in off of my check list!

2.) Do your work BEFORE Sunday 

I have realized that a lot of my problems with school work come from saving all my work til Sunday night. One thing that I am starting is after school on Friday, knocking out easy tasks that don’t require much. For me, this is reading/work assignments for English, primary source documents for Apush, VHL homework for Spanish, etc. All of these things are assignments that you can get out of the way so that you can spend Sunday doing things that require more focus like studying for your math test, writing an English essay, or doing multi-step problems for Science. 

3.) Plan out your homework/study time

If you plan out what time you will be doing each assignment, it will make it easier to get it done. For me, I plan out the time it will take me for each assignment ahead of time in my agenda. For here, I will work on the shorter assignments to the longer assignments or vice versa. I know that a lot of my friends struggle with sitting through longer assignments for the same subject so they set increment timers for each subject. This would be something like 10 minutes Spanish, 20 minutes History, 15 minutes English, 5 minute break and repeat over and over until they are done. I think it is key to find out what method of planning works the best for you though. 

4.) Go to the library 

I find it extremely hard to get stuff done at home, especially when I have a lot of work to complete. I think that putting yourself in an environment like the library forces you to do your work in a non-distracting setting. I think that you are able to really focus in a way that might not be possible for you at home. I find the library especially helpful when you have a study room booked for yourself. I think that this maximizes the level of quiet that you receive, but for some this is not a good idea because you could find yourself on your phone since you don’t have to be quiet in these rooms. 

5.) Set screen time for yourself/have designated no-phone time

I think that screen time can be a really useful thing for people when they are trying to get their work done. I think that one of our biggest distractions is our devices and if we are able to limit that, we will get stuff done. For me, I have limits for the time I can spend on my apps, like 2 hours a day on Tiktok, 1 hour on Snapchat, 1 hour on Instagram on weekdays. Those are mainly the only apps that I am on during the day, so my screen time has been about 5 hours a day recently. I also think that setting your phone to Study mode can be a good thing for getting your work done, along with apps locking at certain times of the day (an extreme but you have to do what you have to do).   

6.) Give yourself downtime

If you are in a constant state of working, you are going to burnout. It is just as important that you take a break as much as it is to get your work done. On weekdays, I arrive home at 3:45pm, but don’t start my homework until 4:30pm in order to give myself enough rest after the day that I have had. I try to have all of my work done by 9pm, so that I can eat, shower, and have time to myself before I go to bed. On weekends, I always hang out with my friends and have alone time in order to be completely away from work. Everyone needs downtime.