Saturday, August 22, 2015

PRO-crastinators: The Thing's Guide to Being Productive

8:28 AM

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Just a 'lil distraction that might actually help you get work done.



It’s 10 a.m. You wake up feeling absolutely refreshed from the eight hours of sleep you got, thanks to the long weekend. You can practically hear the birds chirping the opening tune of “Happy Little Working Song”, announcing the arrival of a new day, when – cue record scratch – you realize that you’ve got a massive pile of readings left unread, an entire research paper to write, and a few errands you still need to run for your org.


“No worries,” you tell yourself.  “I’ve got an entire day to do this, and I’ve already decided that I’m going to be productive.”  And so, game face on, you grab a cup of coffee and crack open your laptop. An hour whizzes by, and because THE INTERNET happened, you find yourself watching Beyonce videos and/or cat Vines. It’s okay: it happens to the best of us. Here are a few tips and tricks we’d like to share with all our fellow procrastinators that will hopefully save us all!

If you’re feeling distracted because you…

...would rather listen to music.


The ultimate pro-tip would be to listen to music sans vocals to lessen the likelihood of you zoning out. They say that classical music works best as background noise for you to focus and memorize, but video game music works pretty well too. Even better, finishing all your work might bring out a feeling similar to when you finally defeat the final boss of whatever game it is that you love. 

We took the liberty of finding a few study playlists for you guys to play in the background as you study. Listen here:








… are always on your phone.


If you find it difficult to tear your eyes off your phone’s screen, try downloading Evernote, Trello, and Sunrise Calendar. Evernote allows users to create “notes” (whether it be through text, a voice memo, or a photo of your teacher’s PowerPoint slides) which can then be sorted into folders and then exported as part of a notebook. Group projects are a pain when your groupmates slack off and leave all the work to you. Trello lets users create shared “boards” with other users as a way to see what progress they’ve been making on your group project. Sunrise Calendar combines your Google Calendar, iCloud calendar, and more in order to create the ultimate calendar.

...would rather be doodling/doing something creative.


If you love color-coding, then we suggest you try making your own calendar! You might want to do this on a free day (and not right before you do your work) to let your imagination run wild. No one knows better what designs or styles best suit your fancy, so use that to motivate yourself. Another tip we have is to mark every day you do something productive with a big red “X”, so when you see that page in your calendar in its entirety, you’ll feel more motivated to keep on doing tasks to earn another cross mark.

...need to be alone to work.


A change of environment could work in getting your mind to start working. One way to do this is simply changing position (e.g. sitting on the floor instead of on a chair), or transferring to a different room or building. If you’re starting to find yourself distracted at home, at a nearby convenience store, or at your favorite coffee shop, it might be time to take a breather and transfer. Our personal favorites are Craft Coffee Revolution and Toby’s Estate, but heading out to your local library works just fine too. If all else fails, you may want to invest in some ear plugs so you’ll be able to work wherever. 

... get distracted easily.


If you’re the type to flit back and forth between your Calculus homework, Twitter, Facebook, and funny cat videos, try out the Pomodoro Technique. The technique is a time management method that encourages you to take frequent breaks in order to improve mental agility. Its basic principle is that you need to break down your work into 25 minute intervals, taking short (also timed) breaks in between to increase productivity.  You can try it out by using this online Tomato Timer the next time you do your homework.  

…are hopeless, and think you need all the help you can get.

Treat yo’ self! By creating some sort of incentive – whether it’s popping an M&M in your mouth every time you memorize another math formula or going out to buy a new outfit after finishing your hell week – you’ll feel more motivated to get things done in no time. 

Article by Katrina and Gaby
Art by Bea
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Katrina biggest life goals include becoming a mermaid, and figuring out how many cupcakes she can eat without gaining weight. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @kkotrono.


Gaby is used to working quietly in the background. The Thing is her first big attempt at taking the lead. She isn't sure how it is going to go, considering that most of her time is spent trying to get her dog to listen to her. On most days, you would find her at her computer, excessively bookmarking links to DIY projects and articles about teenage wunderkind.

Bea Policarpio is a 21-year-old artist and creative entrepreneur based in Manila, Philippines.

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