How to actually get study done when you're hungover AF

September 02, 2016
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The fine balance of studying and partying is the eternal struggle of the modern uni student. Studying is always priority number one of course, but sometimes unmissable things get in the way like a wedding, a friend’s birthday or a sale on goon.

Normally a hangover is the ultimate killer of productivity as both your brain and body shut down and will do anything but focus for long periods of time. Yes, hangovers are hard to beat, but here are a few tactics to maximise the little bits of work you can squeeze out.

Don’t work in bed

The temptation for a hangover day is to simply stay in bed all day and maybe leave once or twice for food. Unfortunately, no one has ever successfully been productive working from bed. It simply devolves into watching Netflix and falling straight back asleep before so much as a subheading is typed out.

The main problem with bed work stems from the fact that you can’t type or read anything while lying on your side wrapped up like a doona burrito. Sitting at a desk will ensure at least a few dot points get typed up and a couple of readings get skimmed over before giving up on life.

Reward your hangover at study milestones

A classic study technique is to stuff chocolate bars in your textbook as motivation. During a hangover this has to be amplified tremendously to get any work done at all.

Read the essay question? Have a bottle of Gatorade.

Written your introduction? Go buy some hot chips.

Finished a whole textbook chapter? Fall asleep in the bath.

By delaying your gratification you are ensuring that little bits of work are done between your normal hungover duties. Before you know it you’ll be celebrating finishing an essay by streaming a full season of some awful Netflix exclusive show.

Have a study enforcer

Tell your mum or your roommate that you have a tonne of work to do and that they should be ruthless in making you do it. When your willpower is at its lowest they can hide your phone, remove the sheets from your bed and turn off the internet modem if necessary.

Stand warned that you might cry and even throw a tantrum (I usually do), but you’ll get a butt-load of work done. This is extra effective if you pick a real sadist who’ll enjoy making you suffer your hangover even more than usual.

Don’t bother checking social media

Hours can be wasted on a Sunday morning in bed mindlessly procrastinating through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. The fact of the matter is that you see the same thing a million times without variance.

Snapchat is simply loud, incomprehensible blurs of all your friends who needed to share how great the DJ was or that they bumped into some guy they went to primary school with.

Facebook is mostly memes and Instagram is just the photos taken at pres while everyone was still sober enough to look normal in a photo. Instead of checking them, put the time I just saved you into getting out of bed, putting some pants on and get to studying.

Type out the title before you go out the night before

Starting an essay is the hardest thing to do at the best of times and with a hangover it can be too daunting to even consider. By typing out a quick heading before you start your pregame the night before you’ve already won half the battle the next day.

You won’t need to start your work, just finish it, because it’s already technically been started. The fact that finishing it consists of the entire word count and all of the referencing is just semantics really.

You’re all now free and justified in getting loose whenever you want because by following these tips you won’t be completely useless the next day.

Darcy Munce

Darcy is a Journalism student at UNSW who can be found either watching American sport or ’90s sitcoms. He dreams of one day anchoring at ESPN with enough downtime to re-watch Scrubs for the thousandth time.