Lesson 2: You won’t feel better if you don’t do the work, but you will feel better if you do

Hello! Welcome back to my second post in my series Top 5 Lessons I Have Learnt at Uni! 

Throughout high school and in my early years of uni, I was the biggest procrastinator known to man. 

If I had a thousand things on my to-do list, I would avoid it like the plague. I found myself following my mum around the house, talking to her about what happened on the weekend, upcoming events or even what new show I had started watching on Netflix– literally anything to just keep the conversation going so I wouldn’t have to go and start my work. 

She would eventually turn to me and say “Steph, you know you’re procrastinating right?”

I would sigh, because like mums always are, she was right. 

The thing is, I hated how much I would procrastinate, and I hated how it made me feel. Procrastinating would leave me with this overwhelming sense of dread about all the work I had to do and just wouldn’t get started on

So, I adopted a bit of a mantra for myself. I told myself “Steph, you won’t feel better if you don’t do the work, but you will feel better if you do”. 

Once I adopted this philosophy, I started to get my work done a lot quicker. But also, those feelings of dread and stress that procrastination would cause, simply disappeared. 

I started to apply this approach to really confusing concepts I learnt at uni too. In Law, there have been times when I have watched a lecture and haven’t fully understood a concept. We often look at super complex pieces of legislation or cases, which I can find difficult to get my head around. 

It was really easy to push a difficult piece of work aside and say to myself “Oh well, I’ll deal with that later”. But doing this, again, left me with those feelings of dread. 

So now, when I find a topic really difficult and know I need to revise it, I tell myself “I won’t feel any better if I don’t sit down and take the time to figure this out, but I will feel better if I do.”

Sure, it might be a little annoying to re-watch part of a lecture or re-read a chapter of the textbook. But do I feel a thousand times better after I’ve done the work and now understand the concept? You bet I do. 

If you find yourself constantly struggling with procrastination, sign up to the Learning Hub’s Procrastination & Perfectionism Workshop on 30th March, 2pm-4pm, for practical tips on getting the work done!

Thanks for tuning in for Lesson 2! Join us again for Lesson 3!