When I feel like wasting some time, one of my go-to video games is RimWorld.
It’s billed as a “story generator” and it really is – super summarized version: you control a number of “pawns” (little characters) who crash land onto a “rimworld” on the edge of the galaxy and have to survive and eventually escape off the planet. Random things will happen, from plauges to raids to blights on your crops and you have to survive.
If you’re unlucky or playing on a hard difficulty, multiple things will happen at once. Lightning strikes your base and starts a fire and you have a raid and also malaria and one of your colonists is in a bad mood because their room is messy so they lose it for a bit and start punching the walls and breaking stuff. Oh and they’re a pyromaniac so they’re also lighting things on fire.
Now, stuff that drastic doesn’t happen in your academic life (though it may feel like it sometimes!), but when shtuff hits the fan, you do the exact same thing.
What’s immediately the Most Pressing Thing?
Do that first.
Step one: put out the fires.
Sometimes other things fall to second or third place (malaria sucks and it’s important but it’s gonna have to wait), but you can’t worry about that. Take care of priority number one first, and while you do that, the other stuff will just have to wait.
Remember: there’s only one of you!
Prioritize your stuff and then just start on that list. Don’t worry about what’s to come next. Know that you’ll get to it.
So whether it’s home defense or homework, prioritize things and focus on one at a time.
And hope the malaria doesn’t catch up to you.