Maddy Lucy.

Talking about life, love and anything inbetween.

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In the know. Essays.

After I wrote my post yesterday, I realised that I can’t be the only one who goes through essay hell. I mean, I know my plight is down to me just being lazy, but I’m sure everyone is struggling in one way or another..

If you’re like me, then you usually struggle to get work done, due to lack of concentration. I tend to lose interest in things after about half an hour, and go and do something else, come back later and it’s just not happening. I find the shiny lights of twitter and facebook far too hard to resist when writing an essay, or, if nothing’s going on on either of those, I tend to trawl the internet for things like this..

It's a kitten in a pop-tart box, aaah!

I know, how amazing, right? Wrong. I’m supposed to be writing an essay, what am I doing looking at kittens on the internet? I’ll tell you why, because I’m a girl, and this is what girls do on the internet.. But yes, to all you people who are easily distracted like me, I’m going to try and compose a ‘how to’ guide to complete an essay. Any essay. (Aren’t you lucky?) (note, you may need to have a considerable amount of time free to actually do this, this isn’t something you can do in an hour)

Right, I’m going to assume that because you are easily distracted you also (like me) don’t like going to the library to do work? Good, I hate it in the library, it feels like my soul is being sucked out from me, it smells of warm. It’s not a nice smell. And people in there don’t actually know what being quiet is.

So, step one. You’re in your room, yes? Look around, is it a mess? If you’re shaking your head right now then think really hard. My room is always a mess, and I find that I can’t really concentrate on anything productive while it’s a complete mess. So you want to make your room look like this.

Hard to believe it's tidy for once..

You done? Good. Lets move onto step two. Getting yourself in the zone. This one is slightly harder as I can’t really tell you what gets you in the zone, each person has a different way. My personal favourite is sitting at my nice tidy desk (see step 1) with my laptop, and compiling a playlist on my iPod. In this playlist I have a whole manner of songs to keep me chilled out and to keep me feeling happy to do my essay. I then plug my iPod into my speakers and press play. By that stage I’m 90% ready to start.

I find having something to nibble on while working helps, so step three is making sure you have some form of food there, or to have made sure that you’ve had something to eat so that isn’t niggling away at you. Get yourself a large glass of water too, because I can almost guarantee that you’ll finish your snack and you’ll start thinking about having a drink, and you’ll end up losing concentration and not getting it back. (If you do have your glass of water, don’t drink it too fast, because otherwise you’ll have an unwanted emergency bladder situation, and no one needs that half way through an essay – though I’m not saying here that you’re not allowed to pee)

Step four is basically checking your Facebook, checking your Twitter, your emails and whatever else there is to check. Then, you know what’s going on, and you know you haven’t got any notifications waiting for you while you’re doing your work. (It helps at this stage not to comment on anyone’s status or post anything yourself, because then you’ll constantly be wanting to check to see if anyone has said anything.) You know you can do it – if I can then anyone can.

And finally we have step five. Actually writing the essay. You should have your books around you, any extra pieces of paper and pens you may need to help you reference. It should be a lot easier now you’ve done these things.

Now, I’m not saying I’m some sort of guru or anything, but I’m hoping that you’ll find that helpful. I just know that it can be really hard to get down and do uni work (or any kind of work) and if you have a system which chills you out gradually it’s loads easier than sitting in a messy room, hungry and tired, or sat in a dingy library surrounded by loud people and funny smells. One thing I will say is before you start to tackle any kind of work, please please make sure you’re well rested 🙂