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starstealingirl has a fun way to work for just...a little...longer.
Mariana in the South
__justlikeyou wrote in metaquotes
In the spirit of generosity (and, perhaps, procrastination), I am going to share with y'all the most effective tool I have for surviving periods of intense work and very little sleep. I invented it with my roommate back in my freshman year of college, more or less out of sheer boredom, and it has served me well in the years since. It's probably not the world's most productive strategy for intense work (for that, I would have to recommend: work steadily over a long period of time; and also, do as I say, not as I do), but if you find yourself in a crunch, it is a remarkably effective method for raising your mood, jiggling your synapses, and summoning up enough energy to work for just that little bit longer. I call it:


  • Pick a song. Any song. Well, not any song. It should be an up-tempo song, with a good dance beat, a generally happy mood, and lyrics you don't have to pay much attention to. My song of choice this semester is Outkast's "Hey Ya," but back in college, it was pretty much every Eurotrash dance pop song ever invented. '80s pop and ironic butt rocker music works well, too. It's up to you, really.
  • If you're blocked for inspiration, you can use a song thematically related to your paper (or whatever work you're trying to do) in order to jog the ol' brain. Earlier this semester, my roommate Laura and I did a 3-minute dance party to Neil Diamond's "America" in order to get ideas for our American Studies Theories and Methods papers (and also, to try and maintain the fiction that being awake at 3 in the morning to write a paper was, actually, kinda funny).
  • Play said song as loud as you can without pissing off your neighbors.
  • Dance. Make an ass of yourself. Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care. Shake your bootay. Shake it. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Bounce around, as if on an invisible trampoline. Sing into your hairbrush. If with someone else, make melodramatic facial expressions and obscene hand gestures at them as you sing. If alone, maneuver yourself in front of a mirror and make melodramatic facial expressions and obscene hand gestures at your reflection. Make yourself giggle. Giggling is good for at least an additional five minutes of intense concentration.
  • Once the song is over, get back to your desk and work. If done correctly, the 3-minute dance party can buy you anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of additional concentration time.
  • Repeat as necessary.

loves to procrastinate [and is QWP]

I shall add this into my arsenal.

In fact, I might go and use it RIGHT NOW!

i could used this earlier in the week
thanks, ill remember for future reference!

I use a similar strategy, based around "songs I never would have heard of were it not for the internet". See: Dragostei Din Tea, Tunak Tunak, and my new personal favorite, Sexy Vampire.

Dragostei Din Tea will never not be fun.

Sexy Vampire. SEXY. VAMPIRE.

I must have this song now. Who's it by?

If only this worked in the library. *sigh*

I've found "lip syncing to a mix of teen-pop and emo-punk and restrained-headbanging-looks-more-like-headbopping" makes a somewhat decent substitute for when one is in the company of those one does not want to be of the opinion that one is insane, ie professors, cute coeds, people in white coats, etc.

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I must add this to my arsenal of end-of-semester survival tools. Along with consuming more caffeine than can possibly be good for you.

*peers at icon*

That'll give you, er, bunnies?

If only I were not stuck in a computer lab with 30+ other procrastinators attempting to get this paper done. Although I get the feeling that at this point, if I only had a giant speaker that could hook into my laptop, I would get this party started. I think "SOS" would be appropriate. Maybe "One Wild Night" for the irony of it.

I loled. And then made a mental note in case I need this soon. ^_^

I've walked in on people doing exactly this in corporation bathrooms. I thought it was executive demon-raising.

This is a hysterical mental image.

I am SO testing that next time I have an essay due.

Vaguely similar, apparently it's a military thing to do wake-the-fuck-up PT during breaks throughout the day. In my tech school class, there is a Staff Sergeant who encourages us all to "knock out a few pushups" with him at various points. We do a four-count pushup for each hour on the clock (military time, so 1PM is 13 four-count pushups) whenever someone has trouble staying awake. Gets the blood flowing and does indeed help you stay awake and concentrate for a good 20-30 minutes.

Alas, our classes are 50 minutes long.

I use this when I get 28 eleven year olds staring blankly at me, not a single hand raised, during any Q and A period, any subject. (O teach 6th grade, and thus, everything.)

I am partial to late 70s disco for this purpose.

If I had known this, I wouldn't have dropped out of my master's program.

I'm keen on Within Temptation's cover of "Running Up That Hill" for this. If you're somewhere where you can sing along as well, you barely even need to stand up for the energy rush.

See, my problem is is if I do that then I'll just keep on dancing, especially with this being my 2nd to last semester before graduation and this semester being the worst in terms of research and projects and it being MEGA CRUNCH TIME NAOW.

I totally discovered this when I was writing my prelim paper in October. My song of choice was "Out Tonight" from the Rent soundtrack. It is effective even when coffee has failed.

I should note, however, that if you are going to be doing this in your office/at school late at night, you should make sure that the cleaning crew has already come through.

Ooh, good song choice. I'll have to remember that.

Personally, I think I'll go with Aqua's "Doctor Jones" or "Calling You," the wonderful stupid shit from childhood. (Screw "Barbie Girl.")