Being busy sure beats Netflix

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Being busy sure beats Netflix

By Sam Pulling

Earlier this week, I did something I haven’t done in over a year and a half: I went a full day without watching Netflix. One full day. And I couldn’t decide whether that was a good or bad thing.

Every day, I sit down for at least an hour, take a break from life, and choose a series to escape to. “Parks and Recreation,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Friends” are just a few of my go-to’s.

However, with a new list of activities and responsibilities this semester, I’ve found my Netflix time limited, and I surprisingly love it.

So many students spend their time procrastinating, going out or binging on Netflix while their homework and other responsibilities slide to the wayside.

I have been that student, and I’m sure many of you have been as well. If you don’t fall in that category, at least sometimes, are you even a college kid?

I find that I am that procrastinating student until something forces me to not be. Even though I love my procrastinating time, more recently, I’ve found that I’m busier, and thus have less time to put off my work.

Currently, a job, multiple registered student organizations and a very strange class schedule keep me from hiding in my room, getting away from the real world and indulging in this previously mentioned free time.

So far this semester, the busyness has proved effective, and that’s been pretty great for my productivity. Thus, I’ve found that when it comes to my schedule and my level of productivity, the busier, the better.

I know that less free time probably sounds like the worst idea ever to the typical college student, but studies show that once people start completing tasks, they’re less likely to procrastinate the rest of their work.

Busy people may be forced to make to-do lists, prioritize tasks and set schedules, which are all skills that might encourage students to become more productive.

With more activities, whatever they may be, these busy students need to limit delaying their work and are forced to get it done while they have time. The less time they have to complete tasks provides for less time to procrastinate.

As college students, I think that the busily structured schedule would be universally helpful and should be adopted by more students to help us stay productive and on top of our work.

For me, that means that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, any free time I have gets devoted to doing my homework for that week. Likewise, other students should find times in their own schedules to complete what they need for that day or week.

The secret to managing a busy schedule is being able to organize our time, but once we learn to do that, we can achieve maximum productivity in our hectic lives.

Avoiding procrastination is just one benefit of staying busy. Another finding says that the more extracurricular activities students were in, the better their self-esteem and grades were.

Busier people are also known to be happier. In a certain study, people who had chosen to complete a series of tasks were significantly happier at the end of the study than those who had completed just a single task. Researchers estimate that being busier gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment, leaving us happier the busier we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we need every minute of our lives filled up with activities. We still need breaks to hang out with friends, catch up on sleep and check in with “Grey’s Anatomy.” Sometimes, you want to sit on your butt and do nothing, and that’s OK. But despite any breaks we might be tempted to take, keeping busy can prove to be a productive, happier way to go through our college careers.

Now, next time, instead of starting a new series on Netflix, opt to apply for a job to the dining hall or join a new RSO. Keep busy and stay happy.

Sam is a sophomore in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]