Hole Digging

It’s near the middle of Thanksgiving break, and I am beginning to get bored a lot.

It’s not like I don’t have anything to do over break. It’s more that I am demotivated from getting anything done. With no significant deadlines in immediate sight, my body has turned to hibernation mode in these past few days.

Maybe it’s a good thing; maybe I need this rest. But there’s so much that I should be getting done! At this rate, I will be staying up until 3am on Sunday night (Monday morning, I guess), struggling to finish my work for the next school day.

It seems as if the only way to get my body to work is if I have harsh deadlines or a frantic schedule. When faced with a huge predicament, I switch to “super-productive” mode. But the moment I feel like I have things under control, I begin to procrastinate and get distracted, and ultimately end up not getting much done. There’s a little voice at the back of my head constantly nagging at me to get stuff done. I want to be productive, but I am literally physically unable to get any work done unless it’s crunch-time. It’s really frustrating!

Well, anyways, all of this got me thinking. How would one combat this? I began to look back on previous experiences to help me formulate a battle plan and share it here.

The strategy? Hole-digging.

To be more productive, I like to dig huge holes for myself to climb out of. The idea is to force myself into a sticky situation and as a result coerce myself into being productive.

For example, last March, I decided to sign up for both AP Physics C tests (Mechanics and E&M) even though I had not begun learning either of them. With only knowledge of Physics I material, I had two months to learn some basic calculus as well as all the new physics material. It was quite the predicament: either go crazy for the next two months in hopes for survival or give up and crumble in the dust with horrible AP test scores.

The result? I rose to unprecedented levels of productivity. The time leading up to the AP tests were full of scheduling and writing plans to figure out how I would be able to cram two Barron’s books’ worth of materials into my brain by May. I spent two hours a day just doing physics, which meant that I finished my other work faster. And in the end, I did well on the tests! Looking back, signing up for those AP tests was a great decision that led to probably the two most productive months of my life.

Through this hole-digging strategy, I believe I have made myself a stronger person. In a way, it helped me tap a little further into my full potential. If I had listened to the rational half of my brain in March, there was no way I would’ve signed up for both AP Physics C tests… it seems like an impossible task! But my hole-digging mentality came in clutch and I signed up anyways; and look at the results!

I know everyone say to not “tire yourself out too much” or to “take it easy” sometimes. And I respect that. But at the same time, I feel that this mentality can be hindering. It can prevent you from pushing yourself to the limit and reaching your full potential. Sometimes, you need impulsive hole-digging moments to put yourself into a predicament. Once you realize you can’t turn back, trust me: you will do things that will transcend your greatest expectations and surprise yourself greatly!

It hurts to dig a deep hole, and the journey it takes to climb out of it is no joke. But surely, the deeper you dig, the more treasure you will find.

-Max