Hey! Hope you had fun at Destressor Week and all the fun events we had planned. This is Shal, for Saturdays with Shal. Today I wanted to focus on procrastination since I know this becomes everyone’s favourite word during the end of the semester. "If it’s not the due date it’s not the do date", as I’ve heard so many times. According to Seth Gillihan, a clinical assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, there are two main drivers for why procrastination happens: it’s going to be a pain and I’m not going to do a good job (psychologytoday.com). After all, why start something that you think is hard and you’ll do terrible at (i.e., my PSY230 paper)? But this is where you can improve, because Gillihan provides 7 steps to break procrastination habits.
1) "Create manageable pieces." So start at the start. Make a plan of how you’re going to break that big paper or studio project into smaller tasks that are easier to work with.
2) "Decide to start." Honestly, just jump right in. There’s nothing worse than being in that mindset of, “I can start this right now, but first I’m gonna relax with 1 episode of Grey’s Anatomy.” Before you know it, you’ve lost half the day because you keep putting off starting. Start now, start now!
3) "Make space.” This one is a must for us studio workers. I’m looking at you 665 dwellers! Clean up your space before you work so everything is organized and less stressful. And most importantly, CLEAN UP AFTER YOU’RE DONE!
4) "Set alarms and reminders." When we're avoiding a task, it's easy to forget to do it. We're much more likely to do something when we've set aside a specific time to do it and have put it in our calendar with an alarm.
5) "Build in accountability." Telling at least one person about our plan to complete a specific task by a certain date can raise our odds of doing it, if only to avoid the discomfort of being asked why we haven’t.
6) "Reward yourself." We can also motivate ourselves with small rewards for meeting a goal. The specifics will depend on the individual and might include snacks, entertainment, or socializing. All I can picture are those memes of cats being all pampered, and the meme saying, “me after a long day of doing the bare minimum.” Try not to go overboard and fall back to step 2.
7) "Practice acceptance." It's difficult to change our habits, and accepting that it's hard work can go a long way toward increasing your willingness to do it. Remind yourself why you wanted to procrastinate less, and how uncomfortable you're willing to be in the short term to feel better in the long term. So that’s everything that he said on this (I just see practice acceptance as knowing you suck at not procrastinating, but don’t be like that too).
There you have it, 7 steps toward less procrastinating and more success. And much to my sadness, next week is the last SWS. In celebration of a great year, I have a nice surprise for it (and there will be no dogs named Danny involved). Have a great weekend Daniels, keep it classy out there.
Well hi there! Welcome to this week’s edition of Saturdays with Shal. As mentioned last week there were some people that wanted options for home workouts, hopefully in video form. This was awesome, thank you for the request. I’m actually going to hype some Youtube channels, workout videos, and apps today. So I’ll start with Youtube channels: Fitness Blender is an excellent channel devoted to home-workout style fitness. Here’s their channel -> https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender . Want Yoga specific exercises? YogaTX is a good channel for all skill levels: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogatx . If you’re looking for the highest intensity home workouts (let’s be real…. me neither) look for P90X or Insanity through Amazon. If you asked me what I think is the best, I would say apps. My personal favourite is Nike’s set of apps. Nike+Training Club is amazing (http://www.nike.com/ca/en_gb/c/nike-plus/training-app). They have everything from different skill level, to duration, to equipment, to intensity, to focus. NTC is interactive, meaning it keeps your time for you, a video explaining each workout, how many reps you need, and allows you to pause if you need a break. You can play your music at the same time and receive a progress report at the end. A specific feature I love is something called “My Plan.” You custom make your own workout plan using settings and the app does the planning for you. For example, "start up” is a 4 week plan that allows you to choose no equipment, how many workouts per week, and if you want to include running. This creates a day to day schedule for you… pretty awesome if you need motivation! Simultaneously with Nike+Training Club is Nike+Run Club (http://www.nike.com/ca/en_gb/c/nike-plus/running-app-gps). Similar to NTC, NRC is completely customized to your skill level and time management. Use "My Coach” to get started on a plan. Lastly there’s yoga apps. Just by searching “yoga” in the App Store or Google Play, you’ll find hundreds of apps available. Unfortunately most of them need to be purchased, but there are some free ones as well. I personally use Pocket Yoga. It costed $2.99 but gave me access to a large selection of yoga workouts.
Well that is all this week, Daniels. I encourage you to at least download the apps (if not these ones, try some others!) and check out how they work (then while you’re at it create a plan and started working out *evil genius, maniacal laugh*). See you next Saturday with tips on calorie consumption, keep it classy out there.
Hey, welcome to Saturdays with Shal. What is the difference between loneliness and solitude? In our constant schedules of always needing to be “on”, we lose much needed downtime. So instead of giving my usual advice backed by research and sources I thought I would switch it up and ask you folks what you do in your downtime. So what’s your favourite “little thing” to do?
Kathryn says that “every night before bed I make a cup of tea and read for like 15 minutes or so to turn off my brain.” This is the exact answer I was looking for. This is Kathryn, be more like Kathryn. Avoid using the cellphone or laptop at least half an hour before bed and instead curl up with a book. Thanks Kathryn!
Erik likes his downtime to be "spending a weekend pulling everything off my shelves, out of my closets, off the tables and cleaning and dusting then rearranging everything again according to some hierarchical system like colour, size, shape, or alphabetical placing. It’s satisfying and relaxing!” Awesome, thanks Erik, you are a true architect.
Similarly, Tian says, "I have a pre-downtime, downtime ritual where I clean and organize my room (on the surface, don't go into the drawers). If the space I'm in is organized then I feel like my life is too which helps me stay motivated.” I love it Tian, couldn’t have said it better myself. I believe in the saying, “your room / desk reflects your state of mind. A cluttered room is often a cluttered mind." Thanks, Tian.
Rohini - one of my favourite answers - said, “my favourite thing to do when I get home after a long day of classes is put on my polka dot pjs, crank up the salsa music, and have a little fiesta while marinating chicken for dinner.” Rohini, I appreciate you. You get comfy, destress, and eat a proper, nutritious meal.
How about some things on the go? Raza’s favourite "little thing" to do is to “walk in the snow while listening to music.” This is also a favourite little thing of mine, and it can happen while walking to class. Get some fresh air and bring a pair of headphones. Thanks Raza.
Tina’s answer is also something I can definitely relate to. She said, "When I get a few hours of me time, I love to curl up with my fuzzy blanket and turn on my little Christmas lights by the window and attempt to watch a movie. But, because of my indecisive nature, I spend the duration of a movie watching the trailers instead and eventually end up somewhere with funny people making me laugh at 4am. Things are always more funny at ungodly hours. Oooo and there's always lots of tea and chocolate involved!” Yeah I usually just try to gamble on netflix or pick the first one I sort of feel like watching. But yes, Tina, I love how this is your favourite “little thing.”
This was really fun to interview people and see their point of view, so expect future SWS “little things” posts in the future. Do you have a favourite “little things” ritual? Don’t be shy, comment below! That’s it for this week, Daniels. Be sure to make time for yourself like your awesome peers above. Stay classy out there.
"Danny Danny Danny…." “oui oui oui.” I hope that gets stuck in your head for the rest of your Saturday, here with me for Saturdays with Shal. As promised from a couple weeks back I wanted to talk about healthy time management. Time management was definitely my personal success from 1st year to 2nd year university. My overall GPA between those years jumped more than 15% as a result! So yes, first years that may or may not be struggling, there is still hope for you.
The very first step in successful time management is the most obvious, make a plan to make plans. What do I mean by this? Take some time at the start or end of your week and actually plan out your weekly schedule. All of the experts from top universities in North America (i.e. Stanford, Harvard, Dartmouth, University of Chicago, and the list goes on), say the same thing: effective time management starts with weekly planning. Decide your priorities in terms of due dates and tests. My personal rule is studying for a midterm a week in advance (if my test is on Thursday, I start studying the Thursday before and do about one chapter, etc. per day.)
Next is work smarter, not harder. Even though you may tell yourself you did good by putting 20 hours into your studio project (jeepers I hope not at once), this isn’t always a good thing. Maybe your workflow isn’t as efficient or effective as you think it is, so you could try assessing this to see ways you might improve. I get a lot of 1st years ask me if studio gets harder, and I say yes it does… but you get better at studio, so it feels like it stays the same (upper years don’t kill me if you disagree).
And my final piece of advice (again, I’m being backed up by all the below resources), is TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. That probably didn’t need to be in caps, but yes it’s true. When you make your weekly planner, leave open the possibility for friends and family.
And finally, slightly off topic but I need to stress this for everyone here at Daniels, but mostly at my first years… "Almost 90 per cent of students say they feel overwhelmed by their workload, more than 50 per cent say they feel hopeless and 63 per cent say they feel very lonely.” This was taken from a University of Calgary survey of almost 40,000 students. What I’m trying to iterate is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS! University can be so overwhelming, and if you get to that point where you can’t take it anymore and really need to talk to someone, please check out my previous post on our availability of Health & Wellness resources. Or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll let you know which resources are available. Take care out there Daniels, have a good rest of your weekend. Keep it classy friends.
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/time.html http://web.stanford.edu/dept/CTL/Student/studyskills/time_manage.pdf http://wellness.uchicago.edu/page/smart-tips http://cw.huhs.harvard.edu/tools/index.html http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/keci/students-report-stress-is-hurting-academic-performance/149517477