Contemplate the fact that life is not endless. At any moment, you could face the end. This shouldn’t be a scary fact; it’s just a fact. We hear lots of stories about cancer patients who are devastatingly told that they have a mere 6 months to live, but we’re all on a countdown. No moment that you spend now can add to your life span in a literal sense. You are going to die.
When faced with death, it’s a hell of a lot easier to filter out the unimportant and stick to what really matters in your day to day. It’s a beautiful mental reset mechanism that is too easy to ignore.
Whether or not your time ends in six hours, days, months, or decades, you are going to die just like everyone else, so how does that change the way you’ll use this day? It should inspire you to get rid of distractions and put your goals on a pedestal. It should make clear the difference between urgent and important: Homework might be urgent, but it might never truly be important.
Would you be laboring away on differential equations if you knew that the end was near? Very few students would continue to do their work, because very few of us actually love the school work (for obvious reasons). Even if we do love the field of mathematics, that love drives us to educate ourselves on the subject, not merely do our homework. The institution is a somewhat depressing waste of time: you should spend the least amount of time there as humanly possible, while still maintaining the grades necessary to graduate and move on to better things.
If these were your final hours, days, or weeks, would you be spending your time, energy, and even stress on school? Would you be disappointed at the fact that of your last 24 hours, you spent 8 of them asleep and another 8 trying not to be miserable in a classroom? I sure as hell would—why do it, then?