As I sit here, working on my last DS106 project right before the deadline, I decided to write to all you future DS106ers, and give you awesome tips on how to procrastinate and win in this course. First, I suppose you shouldn’t really procrastinate.
But if you’re like me, and there’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of only having a short while to finish something, the panic gets your creativity flowing. Secondly, I’ve given myself extra time to do assignments before, and all I learned is that I’m going to take the amount of time i’m given to finish an assignment period, with similar results (if given a week, I’ll do un-serious interrupted work for the entire week. if given a day, I’ll take a day. But give me an hour, and I’ll throw something together faster than Congress in a lame-duck session).
Tip #1: Make sure if you’re going to procrastinate on actually doing your assignments, that you at least know what the assignment is ahead of time. I like to think that if I read the assignment, then give myself until the last minute to actually do the work, inspiration will come from all the time i’ve given myself to let ideas float around in my subconscious. The adrenaline just does the work of moving what’s subconscious to the conscious (sometimes, caffeine is needed).
Tip #2: If you’re going to procrastinate, make sure you are doing a project with something you’re interested in. I find that projects go much faster if i’m actually invested in what i’m doing, rather than trying to finish something as quickly as possible (get it over with) that i’m not remotely interested in. Maybe try something related to popculture. You’ll be interested in your work, and other people will appreciate it.
Tip #3: Build your e-go. Get it? Electric ego? It’s like email, but confidence. Yeah, but what I actually mean is check google analytics regularly. Nothing makes you feel cooler than the fact that 6 people checked out your blog on any given day (until you realize, 3 of them were probably you, sitting in the library, on a different IP address). But seriously, if you feel like what you’re doing is at least being looked at by other people, you’ll be more interested in doing your work and feel more confident about your DS106 abilities (last minute work requires confidence).
Tip #4: Take DS106 ONLINE and WITH A FRIEND. The reason I say online, is because you’ll be forced to learn everything on your own (which is why you take with a friend, so the 2 of you can share info), but also because you have WAY more flexibility to procrastinate. For example, you can put your assignment off until the weekend (DS doesn’t really feel like work anyway, so it’s not like you’re doing homework while you’re perusing youtube for your favorite TV show clip: which is totally DS106 related by the way).
Lastly, Tip #5: Get all of the “little” stuff out of the way in between big projects. I find that the regular blog updates, and a lot of the commenting and looking at other people’s work, can be done late at night before I go to bed, or for an hour in between classes, etc. This gives you all kinds of cushion time for when you’re trying to bust out that big weekly assignment Saturday afternoon (due at midnight).
So basically, if you follow my 5 tips to procrastinate and win, your DS106 experience should more or less be totally similar to the experience I had with DS106: One that’s awesome, and one where you’re taking an enjoyable class that complements the chaos of a junior/senior level course load perfectly (fun work that’s completely unrelated to my major).
Now go out there and have fun winning.