‘Scary Hour’ makes getting work done less frightening


Erika Libertini studies genetics in her research lab within UMass Boston’s Integrated Sciences Complex.

Katrina Sanville, Arts Editor

For college students, simply waking up and going to class can be mentally taxing. Many students are pulled in several directions until they eventually snap like rubber bands. With busy schedules and lives, carving out time to dedicate focus to the important topics can be difficult. As the semester draws to a close and finals become more of a reality with each passing day, students may feel like the weight of the world—as well as their classes—is on their shoulders. However, a new way to get work done has recently gained popularity on TikTok, and all students need is an uninterrupted hour.
“Scary Hour” was dubbed by Laur Wheeler, known by her TikTok username @classiclaur. Wheeler has gained a TikTok following for a variety of series on her account—such as a series called “Let’s Keep In Touch,” in which Wheeler judges characters from high school media on if they’ll talk after high school; the recreation of every post Marvel star Paul Bettany posted on his Instagram; deep dives into Taylor Swift lyrics and music videos; or most famously, her collaborative concept album “Birthday Card,” which stemmed from getting a blank birthday card from an ex that Wheeler turned into poetry.
As for Scary Hour, it is actually a fairly simple concept. Every day, the goal is to set a timer for an hour and complete things that have been put off due to stress or anxiety. Wheeler stresses she never does Scary Hour at the same time each day, as to reduce burn out or dread around Scary Hour. The key is to focus on the tasks that have been constantly causing stress or remain at the forefront of one’s mind, rather than making a list of every task that should get done. As Ellen Scott for Metro said:
“‘I don’t personally make a list beforehand—this is separate from my to-do list or my work schedule,’ Laur explains, adding that she doesn’t stick to a certain regular time for her Scary Hour. ‘The things that have been stressing me out the most are usually at the top of my mind (or my inbox)
‘I have to accept that I’m going to feel uncomfortable for the next hour, but the good news is that once the timer goes off, I’m allowed to stop and reserve whatever I have left to do for my next Scary Hour’” (1).
The key difference between Scary Hour and other forms of productivity is knowing when to stop. Many productivity practices, such as the Pomodoro method, time blocking or deep work, allow users to take small breaks to avoid burnout, however they can continue for hours at a time. Scary Hour is just that—an hour. Once the timer goes off, no matter how productive one may feel or how much work gets done, they need to stop. While it may be an exhausting hour, it can be far more worthwhile in the long run.
For students looking to implement Scary Hour into their daily lives, the process can be fairly simple, so simple that it could be implemented today. As Wheeler explained, the goal is to focus on tasks that have been plaguing the brain and thoughts. Whether this is writing an essay, doing homework, sending emails or signing up for classes, Scary Hour allows for undivided productivity and completion. As final exams and projects loom closer and closer, many students may begin to worry about these large projects and being able to complete them in a timely manner. Using the Scary Hour method, students can get a head start on these assignments, as well as manage their time wisely. With hour-long intervals of work done, the large assignments can feel just a bit smaller.
Studying and being productive can be difficult, no matter how much research and how many ideas are presented. If Scary Hour can help any struggling students get work done, then that’s excellent for them, and the study tactic should be incorporated into daily routines. However, if it doesn’t, there are plenty of other productivity methods out there. What’s most important is being productive, no matter how the work gets done, even if it’s just for an hour or two each day.