Do Something, Anything

Barry the Study Dog is big on naps.

Study Skills Series: The first Monday of every month, we give timely, practical, and original study skills advice. Timely means it’s especially useful during that month of the school year. Practical means it’s easy to act on. Original means we wrote it ourselves and you can only get it here.

Some days you just don’t feel like doing anything. Maybe it’s too cold outside, or too cozy inside, or you have a headache, or you just don’t have enough energy to do the next thing you’re supposed to do.

In these moments, it’s important to have a list of go-to things you can do when you can’t quite face the task at hand but also don’t want to slip into a funk of doing-nothingness: things you can work on that maybe aren’t what you should be working on but that you can feel good about doing and that will improve your long-term situation.

Don’t think of these things as productive ways to procrastinate because that’s a slippery slope. Think of them as low-brainpower tasks you can accomplish when you’re not feeling up to tackling the hard stuff.

Here are 10 go-to activities that don’t require much thinking, won’t cost you any money, and will make you feel good when you’ve done them:

  • Get some exercise
  • Take a 20-minute nap
  • Scrub the bathroom
  • Organize your binder or files or photos
  • Wander the library looking for new study spots
  • Update your résumé with these tips
  • Visit your favorite instructor during office hours
  • Write a letter to a faraway friend
  • Schedule something fun for immediately after you want to get the big thing done that you aren’t working on right now
  • Break up the big task into small chunks and plan when to do each of them using this amazing To-Do List

Now, go do something, anything!

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