Tips for getting work done when you’re not good at sitting still

I feel like I am emerging from a cave.  Three of my class professors/clinic supervisors were out-of-town last week for one reason or another, so I used last week and the weekend to get the ball rolling on those looming end-of-semester projects that don’t fit in anywhere else.  I am relieved to check off a few monumental items from my to-do list.  Yay!

My printing quota is just about gone.  Graduate students get $40 each semester to print, and B&W pages are $0.04 each, which means that I’ve at least *power-skimmed* 1,000 pages since September.  I tried to save paper by printing articles in very small print…and it was a fail.  If reading from a textbook has ever made you sleepy, imagine reading it in size 4 font.

So I can’t give any printing tips, but I’ll share a few study tips.

I’m calling these: Tips for getting [school]work done when you’re not good at sitting still:

  1. Find what time of day works best for you.  I’m a morning person and find that my motivation is highest in the morning, so I skipped my usual morning workouts in favor of working on challenging projects.  I fit in an exercise break later in the day.
  2. Make a to-do list with EVERYTHING on it.  For one class, I had to read six different articles, so instead of writing “read for child development,” I wrote it six times.  And crossed it off six times.
  3. If there are things you can do without your computer, put your computer in a different room.  Or if you are using your computer, log out of time-killer websites (I’m looking at YOU, Pinterest) to avoid subconscious web-surfing.  Sometimes the extra step of needing to log back in is enough of a reminder to focus on the task at hand.
  4. Keep a post-it next to you for random things that pop in your head.  Surely I’m not the only one who suddenly NEEDS to find out what day of the week Christmas falls on this year…or what the weather is supposed to be tomorrow…or what is the capital of North Dakota again??…when I’m in the middle of actually working on something.  If it’s not good enough for the post-it, it’s not important.
  5. Take breaks.  When I feel myself getting antsy, it’s not even worth fighting.  Sometimes a 10-second break to load my coffee mug into the dishwasher makes all the difference.

So there we have it!  Tips from a professional student.

Since we didn’t have our Thursday class, Andrea and I missed out weekly froyo date.  The week before, our favorite froyo place was closed (!!!) for a staff outing.  It was a very sad moment.  We tested the doors, and they wouldn’t budge.


So we drove an extra few miles to a different froyo place…

Now, on to the workouts….

Like I mentioned, I am a tried and true morning runner, but I switched it up last week to maximize my schoolwork output.  I pretty much stuck to cross training because my right knee has been bothering me when I run, and I didn’t want to deal with it.

Monday (10/20): 60 min AMT
Tuesday: 4 x (5 min run + strength)= 1 hour total
Wednesday: 60 min AMT
Thursday: 3 x (5 min run + strength)= 1 hour total
Friday: Rest
Sat: 6 mile run (lateral knee pain @ 5 miles)
Sunday (10/26): 60 min AMT

Knee update:
-I got a deep tissue massage on Tuesday morning, and the massage therapist focused on everything connected to my knees.  It hurt really bad.  It wasn’t my first sports massage and probably not my most painful, but ouch ouch ouch.
-I also bought new shoes!  Left my beloved Mizunos after 6 years for a pair of Asics.

-And finally…I’ve insisted that whatever is going on with my knee is not weak hips, but now I am eating my words because race pictures from last weekend were posted, and check out that hip drop!
hip drop
Hello again, side band walks.

What shoes do you run it?
Did you do anything fun this weekend?


15 thoughts on “Tips for getting work done when you’re not good at sitting still

  1. 1000 pages and it’s inky October!? Wow that’s a lot of reading for school!
    I’m not studying these days, but one thing that definitely helps me focus is keeping a sticky of random items that PPP into my head is a big help!

    I would have been oh so heart broken if froyo was closed, thank heavens there was another close by!
    Flood luck with the shoes!

  2. HAHAHA I’ve totally done the size 4 font print! It has statistically been proven to cause drowsiness 😉
    LOVE your tips cause I’m a huge “I can’t sit still offender.” LOVE the post-it trick!
    Oh man! We were using the same Mizunos before and now I’m nervous! I hated the switch from Wave Inspire 9 to 10 but couldn’t find a good replacement for 10’s so I just stuck with them…Let me know how the Asics go! I used to use Gel Kayano but stopped when a few models didn’t agree with me.

  3. I love all these tips– they are also good for staying productive while working from home 🙂 Sometimes I try to shorten my to-do list by not writing everything… and then it always comes back to bite me. Soooo I continue to write EVERY LITTLE THING. I also like the idea of keeping a post-it note next to you so you can jot down random thoughts/questions. I’m totally guilty of stopping what I’m doing to google something dumb… and then I get sucked into something else and before I know it, an hour has passed. haha!

  4. Let me know if you need any printing tips. I work for a printer and have lots to say about that. 🙂
    Ughhhh not your knee!! I hope the new shoes are awesome to you. They are so pretty! Asics are like the one brand I haven’t tried.

    Currently I’m rotating 2 pairs of New Balances, a pair of Brooks (short distance only), and a pair of Hoka.

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