Whether you went on vacation, went back home or stayed on campus over break, you probably are not ready to get back into the swing of things. In fact, if you’re anything like the people I’ve been talking to, you’re not doing your homework at all. That’s okay — you’re not alone, and with the last month of the semester coming up fast, it’s going to be really hard for you to concentrate. The apathy is overwhelming! However, it is important for you to get that work done — you do want to graduate eventually, after all. My advice? Take a break and do something for a while to reboot your brain. Here are the top 10 easiest and most effective things to do during that break.
1. Go to the gym
What a good way to motivate yourself — you can get something important done (you know, being healthier) while procrastinating! And as our good friend Elle Woods (“Legally Blonde,” 2001) would say, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Right, happy people do their homework.
2. Take a nap
Alternatively, if you’re not feeling the gym, just don’t do anything at all. If the cause of your apathy is fatigue, take a 15-30 minute power nap. Just make sure you get out of bed eventually.
3. Take a bath/shower
Someone recently told me that this works to motivate them. I can’t attest to it (showers make me sleepy) but you can try it if you like. Showering is said to help your creativity, after all. Plus you’ll smell much nicer.
4. Go to the sauna in the gym
Once arriving at the gym, you might want to just give up right away. That’s fine — go downstairs into the sauna and chill (or rather, sweat) there for a while. Motivational? Maybe. Relaxing? Definitely.
5. Watch one episode of a show
This isn’t that thing where you go on Netflix and get sucked into the mindless abyss by the 15-second automatic transition into the next episode and binge watch forever and ever. Find a show — preferably a half hour one — and just watch one episode. JUST ONE. I said just one! Goddammit. Netflix, you’re a cruel mistress.
6. Have a snack
Munching isn’t the worst idea, especially if you have a healthy snack. Grab some carrots and hummus and crunch away.
7. Do NOT go on Facebook, Tumblr, Yik Yak, Tinder, Twitter, etc.
You will never stop scrolling/swiping if you do this. Some people will block the sites using a productivity app, like SelfControl; others will put themselves in a location that doesn’t have WiFi. However you want to do it, just don’t get sucked into the social media vortex. The internet is a rabbit hole that might seem fun at first, but you will definitely regret it after.
8. Tidy your room
This is another way to be productive while procrastinating. Let’s face it, your room is probably a mess. Pick up your dirty laundry and listen to some music for five minutes. If you live in an apartment, wash the dirty dishes that your roommates are probably annoyed at you for leaving in the sink (YEAH, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE).
9. Talk to an old friend
They’re also probably looking for any excuse to avoid work. Call them up, or send a text, or whatever form of communication you prefer, and reminisce about the old days. Or, if that makes things too awkward, just stalk them on Facebook (but set a timer so that you don’t stay on Facebook – see number 7).
10. If all else fails … coffee, coffee, coffee
Sometimes none of these work, and you end up just spending the day procrastinating. Well, maybe instead just feed your addiction to caffeine to boost your mind.