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All or Nothing Productivity...

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I can take 19 hours of college summer courses over the two month mini semester and roll through them perfectly well - yet during my two to four week break I'm not really motivated at all. I don't know if I'm doing some context dropping or I just don't have a solid goal that I am extending out to the long term when I'm not under some pressure or what.

I feel like Hunter S Thompson requiring deadlines to get things done and what have you. I feel like I need to be in the heat of a big battle to get anything done to some degree - otherwise I just get way bored and have no clear goal...

Any comments?

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I'm generally the same way. I used to be in a band where I wrote all the music and I could never get inspired or even force myself to write anything. Almost all of my songs were written in the hour while I was waiting for my band mates to arrive. Deadlines work extraordinarily well.

Making self-imposed deadlines is a good strategy for getting things done. It's good even for small things. I usually have to tell myself I'm going to go grocery shopping on a certain day by a certain time or else it will be so ridiculously crowded I'll never get it done. It's stupid, but it's the only way it works.

I know some people are self-motivated enough to be able to spontaneously get things done. I'm not like that, unfortunately, and haven't figured out how to make myself like that. Self-imposed deadlines seem to be the way to go. Just decide you need to get things done by a certain time.

As long as you're not lounging about all the time and you're not actually unproductive I can't see how it would be a problem.

Additionally, I was more productive before college. In high school I could self-start a little bit. Much better than I can now. I'm not sure if that will change after graduation or not, but I guess it just takes some effort to change regardless. You may find that it's easier to operate even if you don't have a deadline after college. Maybe not.

That "heat of a big battle" bit rings extremely true for me, though. Some of us just function better under stress. I guess it's more convenient than being unable to function under stress.

At this point I'm rambling. I should have put a deadline on the end of this post.

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If you do best in the heat of battle then keep yourself in the heat of battle! If you make deadlines for yourself, even if the deadlines aren't exactly 'must' deadlines, its like creating quasi-battle-heat and you're likely to be more productive.

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I work the same way. A semester with 19 credit hours is fine. But when I get to that review week during exams where there are no concrete assignments its like depressurization and I just lose motivation without the structure. I think you have a good idea of how to work around it though. I think as long as you are conscious of it and work at it, it's no problem.

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