Hey, You! Yeah, You! Oh no, do you need to pull an all-nighter? Well, I got you! Here are 5 ways that can (hopefully) make them way less painful!
1. Create Boundaries
Boundaries are important. They help keep things in balance when it comes to yourself, friends, families, coworkers, loved ones, etc. It’s also important to create boundaries for how you study/work.
Here are some things I’ve done to keep myself more focused.
The StayFocused web extension basically has you put in websites that are just going to distract you. You can allow yourself a certain amount of time for different parts of the day. With the extension, I decided that from 9AM-5PM I could only have 15 minutes of my ‘banned sites’ during that time period. When you reach your budgeted time, the extension shuts you out of those websites. This worked for me a little, but then it just fizzled out. I felt like I was punishing myself, and it just didn’t work well for me. I know tons of people who love this extension, and it’s definitely worth a try!
Separate Your Browsers
This is actually the method that worked the best for me. I use Chrome as my web browser, and I have four separate chrome accounts for very specific uses. When I am working, I use “Sarah Work,” which only has the bare essentials of what I need for to work. The same goes for my other browsers. This is what it looks like:
Having this separation has made the world of difference for me. It’s all about what you think works for you. Try to find some way to create boundaries that will serve you well.
2. Budget the Night Smarter
I’m a horrible procrastinator. I did almost every assignment up to the last possible moment…and it was always pure, terrifying chaos. I would do this thing where I would sit at my computer screen in a haze until it was done… and it was always excruciating.
It wasn’t until I started working from home when Katy introduced the Pomodoro Technique into our work schedule. Katy just (lol) published an entire breakdown of how this system works. Check it out here if you want more in depth information. Basically, you have a series of sessions where work for a total of 4 highly focused sessions for 25 minutes with a 5-minute minute break in between each of them. After you’ve completed 4 successful 25-minute sessions of focused work, you earn a 25-minute break! Allowing yourself organized rewards and breaks, as opposed to just sitting at my computer “until it gets done” makes the whole process way less painful. But yes. Please try the Pomodoro technique. I’ve never been more productive in my entire life.
3. Reduce Eye Strain Where You Can
Staring at a screen for hours can really take its toll on you. Computer screens and phone screens are supposed to shine like the Sun, and this can mess up your circadian rhythm when you stare at it late at night. If you aren’t working on a type of project that requires editing pictures, creating graphics, or anything that requires you to deal with the full spectrum of color, then you need this software called flux. The software warms up your computer screen as it gets later in the day. It helps you keep working at your computer screen without giving you that horrible buzzing and nauseous feeling that comes from staring at a screen too long.
If you think this would interest you, download Flux here:
4. It’s Okay to Take a Step Back If You Need It
It’s okay to not be able to push through for the entire time. If you need to just go to bed. Do it. If you need an extension. Email the Professor. Sometimes you hit a wall and it’s okay to not be able to finish something.
When you’re coming up to deadlines, it can be easy to prioritize your well-being second. Body and mind are so closely intertwined. If you are coming across that feeling where everything is awful, take a step back. Take a shower, drink some water, stretch, or do something little that makes you happy. Don’t deprive yourself of something because you haven’t ‘earned it.’ If your body is telling you that you need something, then chances are it’s a good idea to listen to it. No paper or assignment is more important than your overall well-being. Remeber that.
5. Drink Some Water You Animal
Just do it. I can go on and on about what water does for your body, but chances are you’ve heard it all before. So just do it. Put the coffee down, you caffeinated fiend!
I hope this helps. I actually learned all these things after I graduated college (lol), so I hope this could help somebody else. Because let’s face it, college burn-out is real, especially towards the end. I’m still recovering from it. Take care of yourself. You deserve it. <3