1) chunking out papers you don't want to write
2) Dealing (capital D) with To Do items that aren't going to see an endpoint for a long, long time
But at the end of the day, that shit's gotta get done, you know? Except for the part where it's not going to. Get done, that is. Done done.
I think the most demoralizing part of this whole prelims thing is the part where it does not actually matter what I do, or how much work I do, I'm fucked either way. Which is not a sensation I'm unfamiliar with, per se; but the stakes are higher in this. (Or maybe they're not. But tbh I prefer being fucked to being pointless. So I guess there's a silver lining there, in a back-alley sort of way.)
'Cause like, I guess I don't conceptually have a problem with 12+ hour days 5ever. If I did, I wouldn't have made it out of high school. Sunday was my day off and it was still an 8-hour day, pre-haunted house shenanigans; Sunday was a great and liberatory day! So like, whatever, fine, occupationl hazard. I think I have a problem with the part where in spite of that I just get more behind and more fucked, anyway. IT DOESN'T MATTER.
I could stop teaching, doing coursework/other uni work, bathing, eating, anything-ing, and it literally would not matter. It would matter if I stopped sleeping, but physiology sort of prohibits that, a smidge.
At which point some people can just be like, fuck it, mardi gras!
I'm not that person.
But even if I'm not, I know what people who aren't that person do at that point: you take what time you have and you do whatever you can with it, flying towards D-Day in the hopes of being vaguely less fucked than you would be otherwise. "Vaguely less fucked" is still a pretty high star to shoot for!
But it's hard to maintain that stupid, crazed velocity when your eleventh hour sprint is marathon-length.
And I also know what you do at that point, which is manufacture artificial segmentations and whatnot. But jesus, did I mention that it doesn't matter? I see you, self, with your silly optical illusions of academic subterfuge.
I have a gif for you:
BECAUSE OMG, I CARE NOT FOR YOUR LIES AND TRICKERY, SELF.
MATTER ! ! !
Anyway, other than that, the only successful strategy I've employed is periodic jam sessions of nothing but "Let it Go" Frozen covers, occasionally peppered with Marc Anthony's Vivir Mi Vida on repeat.
LET IT GO
LET IT GOOOOOOO
I DON'T CARE
WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO SAY
LET THE STORM RAGE ON
I DON'T EVEN LIKE BOOKS ANYWAY