A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Projects. Procrastination. Productivity.

What procrastination? No! I am too busy for that…!  

With the spring swiftly approaching, one could almost forget that so do all kinds of deadlines: essays, summer dissertation deadlines; the final chance to apply for an internship in the summer too. You are not alone!

Even if I didn’t procrastinate, the workload would often be so much that even if I did everything on time, I’d end up stressed and staying up late nights.

So my usual “strategy” often has been to ignore it all until the last minute, and then binge-write thousands upon thousands of words during an all-nighter. Don’t forget about going through a proportionate number of academic articles and funny YouTube videos….!

Five signs you are not being particularly productive at the moment:  

1. Staring at the wall and secretly thinking its dents and shades are more interesting than what your current project is

2. Thinking of ways of how to reward yourself for work you haven’t actually started doing (for example, I am buying myself a Leiden Uni hoodie… for when I submit… things I haven’t started writing…) And never starting them.

3. Watching/reading anything that is not directly relevant to what you are supposed to do (yes, a link to a link to a link in Wikipedia included!)

4. Reading “how to be productive” or “why do we procrastinate” articles and being too lazy to apply any of the advice. Or read through the entire articles for that matter

5. Being too busy and stressed… so you actually just sit there. Looking. At a blank Word document.


And after all this, being exhausted and trying to actually do some work….

Also, I have this habit of having a snack around me when working on papers, and mindlessly… snacking. Even when I am not technically working but following through the aforementioned endless possibilities of the Web (Yes. You name it – all the Alphabet Inc.* products and beyond).

So, thus far at least, busy times at the uni have left me sleep deprived, with a “so done with this” attitude, grumpy, and not least: heavier by a couple of pounds. And this year, I made my mind to change this to a perhaps less self-destructive study methodology, so I became my own experimental subject.

My way to try to deal with all that?

I came up (like many before me… duh) with one major solution – some sort of exercise – and have tried to stick with it for the past 18 months. Now, I am not saying that it works for everyone. Not at all. All I am saying is, if a similar thought has crossed your mind – and you were not sure where to start looking for options – you can take a look at my next post, coming right up in the next couple of days, for some ideas of how/when/what you can do that in the vicinity: Right in your room, Leiden, The Hague and Delft.

PS. Works for feel-good procrastination too!

*In case you are wondering:

About antoaneta@theleidener

I moved to Leiden back in 2014 to do my Master's in Asian Studies with Japanese, which is something I am still doing along with many other projects. I have been an international student ever since I started my Bachelor's degree in the UK, and have lived in a bunch of different places, and have met so many lovely and interesting people along the way. I hope in the future I can continue travelling and exploring new ideas and places.

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This entry was posted on April 12, 2016 by in Leisure, Uncategorized and tagged .

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