Chances are, you, the reader, are reading this in bed, in a chair, on the toilet, in class, or somewhere else where you’re not moving. Granted, it’s hard to read an article on you phone while jogging, but that’s not the point. The point is that, out of the countless other thing you could be doing right now, you chose to do this.
Yes, I should be thankful for that, but this isn’t about me. It’s about YOU.
Ok, the following is technically about me, but at the end of the day, it’s for you.
So sit back, relax, shove another handful of dry Lucky Charms in your mouth and read on about the simple changes I made in my life to make it more productive.
Get rid of your bed and sleep on the ground
Like I said before, you’re probably in bed. Don’t worry. You’re in good company. The difference is that, if I do choose to lay down and sleep in late, I have to do so on the ground. That’s right. The hard, ground covered in rough, shagged carpet.
The floor it is not nearly as comfortable as my old bed, which is exactly why I did it!
Before doing so, I would find myself choosing to stay in bed and binge watch failed marriage proposals, old Adult Swim shows, Cringe Compilations, etc. on YouTube instead doing what I knew I SHOULD have been doing. Before I knew it, I would fall asleep and wake up at 11 PM.
I would imagine what I could have accomplished if I had forced myself up and out the door all those times in the past.
Yes, there were times when I felt a bit blue and decided to sleep it off. Other times I would “make an excuse” like, “oh, look at that. Dark clouds. Guess it’s going to rain. I shouldn’t drive to the gym and risk the danger of hydroplaning into an old tree. Think of the tree! Better get back in bed.”
After receiving zero thank you’s from any local trees (as well as a few other things), I realized how lazy of a mindset I had become accustomed to. My comfortable bed wasn’t much of a help, either.
I decided that it was time to make a change. So I propped the mattress in front of one window to soundproof it and propped the frame in front of another to use as a backdrop stand for photos. This helped me so much when it came to podcasting and snapping photos, but I digress.
Every night I sleep on the floor. It isn’t that comfortable, but I still manage to fall asleep. When I wake up every morning, instead of wanting to hit snooze, I actually look forward to getting up off the ground and beginning the day.
And forget mid-day naps. That’s become more of a punishment.
Stop Drinking So Much
It’s Friday. Your buddies invite you to karaoke night at a local, smoke filled, overpriced bar. Of course you’re going to say yes!
Cut to the next morning. You in your bed (or on the ground) hung over and reeking of smoke. You feel like absolute caca for the rest of the day.
This is coming from personal experience. I finally realized that I could have done something productive during that time I spent at the bar. Like LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE.
I began using my free time to learn new skills, and with everyone’s good friend, the entire internet, by my side, this came easy! Instead of going out and blowing my money on disappointing whisky, I would push myself to learn something new.
How to play piano decently. How to read and write in different languages so that I can finally find out how to pronounce that backwards Russian “R” (it’s “yu,” by the way). The list goes on.
It has come to the point that I would rather learn a new skill and improving another one than go out to a bar and have to literally yell over loud music just to communicate with someone.
Not to mention you body will feel so much better.
Don’t go home until you need to sleep
Home is where the heart is. It is also where your Xbox 360, refrigerator full of food, bed (or ground), and Netflix account are. Every time I walked into my apartment, I had this unbelievable urge to grab some food, sit in front of a screen, and binge watch a show someone told me to watch. Not only that, I also noticed that I would begin to feel blue whenever I returned home in the middle of the day. It’s as if my mind saw home as “a place where you do nothing.”
Yes, you can be productive at home. But isn’t it way more tempting to do nothing there?
If you’re out and about, you automatically feel like you need to do something. Embrace that feeling.
I began to carry all the books I needed to study for class with me at all times. I’d also made sure I had a change of clothes and essential toiletries for the gym. This allowed me to jump off the ground, go to the gym, change out of my gym clothes and into my cool street guy clothes, walk to class, hit the library, and attend weekly (and always exciting) Wavelength News meetings all without going home.
When it came time to head back to my apartment, I was already tired and ready to jump on the ground and go to sleep, all while knowing that I accomplished many tasks that day.
This has become my normal routine. It sucked at first, but I was surprised how quickly I got used to it.
Walk more, Drive less
Something about walking (or biking) to a location to get something done motivates me more than driving there. When I drive, I arrive to my location much faster than walking. I may half-ass a task and decide to drive over to a store and buy a bunch of junk that’ll eventually end up cluttering my floor/sleeping area.
After walking/biking to and from campus, I realized that I put in so much energy to get there. Might as well get everything I need to do done with so I don’t have to bike back later on in the day. This not only made my scheduling more organized, it also helped me to take in my surroundings. I began to remember just how beautiful the UNT campus is. It also helped me discover all the daily events that go on in the library mall.
I continue to do so to this day and have a much stronger appreciation for the campus and its students than I did before.
Also, you save gas and parking meter money. That all ads up over time.
The changes sucked at first. However, after a while, I was able to look back and see how much I’ve accomplished because of these changes. I’d say it was more than worth it.
So stop reading articles on the internet and go outside! Unless you’re doing so as a way to keep yourself away from karaoke night at the bar. If so, keep it up. As for the rest of you…