Stress + time constraints + coffee = productivity. S+T+C=P. Do you believe me?
I am a firm believer in the above equation, seeing as how I am stressed 87 percent of the time, a procrastinator, a caffeine lover, yet I’ve made it to 21 and to my senior year of college without too many snags along the way. Stress isn’t always the most fun, and neither is feeling rushed to accomplish a task. But at least in my life, the more stressed I am and the less time I have to complete an assignment, the more I end up getting done in the long run.
Once again, however, NaNoWriMo stands in the way of my experimental theories.
I have been averaging about 1,700 words a day while still keeping up with reading (biochemistry and 20th century novels, don’t worry, nothing fun), attending class, and all those other important things like running/eating/sleeping/drinking coffee. Giving myself a daily word limit and cranking it out early in the morning is just a method that works for me. Now if only I could somehow force myself to apply this to other things, like 30 page research papers (in progress), studying for tests (not making as much progress as there should be) and putting together presentations. Little pieces. Just like you don’t just eat an entire pizza in one sitting (normally). You eat one piece at a time until you’re full then save the rest for when you’re hungry again. Simple. My brain appreciates logic.
But what if you’re just really not feeling that pizza you ordered an hour ago anymore? What do you do with it? Shove it in the fridge and leave it there for a month? Um, no. At least give it to a fellow poor college student who’s tired of eating in the cafeteria if you don’t want it yourself. BUT – you don’t just leave it in the fridge. Even if you’re not as hungry as you thought you were, you still most likely will end up eating a piece or two before saving the rest for later. Right?
People are always posting on Facebook totally flipping out about their word counts, but I’m not a part of that bunch. I’ve learned over the years to take my 50,000 words and break it all into bite-size slices. That way, when I have a day where literally every project/paper/assignment for every class is due in a 5-hour time span and I literally have absolutely no extra time to dedicate to Callie and Ashley’s story, I won’t fall behind and actually have a reason to freak out. And, if I happen to stumble into a scene I really like and want to go a few hundred words over, well, that’s all right too. Not that I, again, have time for that. But I can still continue dreaming, can’t I?
No, I really don’t have time to write 50,000 words in 30 days, let alone try to get it all done in a day or a week or whatever challenges some people decide to set for themselves. Cheers to them for that. But research really won’t do itself (ah, sorry – “reviewing literature”) and biochemistry can’t just diffuse into your bloodstream by drinking magic knowledge juice, so well, setting priorities is key.
Seriously, though, I will give all the profits of my first book to whomever comes up with that formula. The juice, not S+T+C+P, though if you can prove that’s true, I’ll just let you do all my homework for me for the next six months.
I hope you like chemistry. You’ll be in for a treat.