Procrastination is a hard habit to break especially when you’re in college. But in order to give you a clue on how you can beat this, try the following advice –
- Recognize the pattern of procrastination. Since it is a habit, you must be able to recognize when it is happening. No one can do this for you and there is no easy way to do this than becoming conscious of your own habits. Who knows what you will discover in the process?
- Reward yourself for every project or assignment accomplished. There must be some form of redundancy in your life especially in college. Break this redundant pattern by rewarding yourself to do something different as your prize for completing a task.
- Try peer pressure. No, this is not the same as what you’re imagining right now. It simply means you need someone to always check up on how you’re doing. Allow them to punish you and be serious with it otherwise this will not work.
- Identify the sorts of punishment or consequences you will receive if you don’t do the task apart from grades or teacher’s reprimand. It should be grave enough to make you feel pressured. This will stimulate your mind in some way.
In college, your employer is your time – if you want to get a bonus, you need to work hard for it.
“There is always time for everything.” You might have come across this self-explanatory adage. But, do you really understand what it means? When you are faced with a pile of homework and projects, you will always be overwhelmed and feel like you’re running out of time. Here are some things to help you get things straight –
- Set your priorities. You’ve probably heard or read this before but seriously – there is no way around this. If you want to master time management, you need to break it into manageable chunks and it starts by setting priorities. List everything that must come first and put the rest down the bottom of the list if you can afford to do them later.
- Approximate the time according to the level of difficulty. If the particular project or homework needs more time then give it more focus. Do not jump from one project to another just because of time constraint. It will not get you anywhere near finishing that project.
- Learn how to say no. Yes, it’s better said than done but it does have its own benefits and advantages. It is only by saying no that you can free some of your time to take care of things that you should attend to.
Finally, always do today what you can instead of reserving it for later. Remember that in life, there is no later.
Most accomplished and productive people usually have one thing in common which is obsession with completion. When they are faced with projects, it is almost their compulsion to finish the task. If they are faced with a project, they would usually break it into manageable chunks especially when they are organized and systematic.
Some of them usually go for all-nighters especially when the project is too big to finish in a few sittings. But no matter how big or small the project is they usually get it done on time and in a consistent manner. If you want to be like them, it takes self discipline and hard work but you’ll get there.
However, if you focus on completion, you can finish tasks and projects in due time.
•Create your project list
If you have around 10 projects to complete, number them from 1 to 10 with 1 being the most important and 10 the least important. For example, you can put the project with the nearest deadline as the first priority. You should also label each project basing on their completion criteria. The first five on the list should be the go-list while the second half as the hold-list.
•Check your list daily
Make sure that you are making progress by completing small outlined tasks for the day. Your primary goal should be completing the project even if it means giving it a big push.
•Finish and start
Once you have finished one task, you can now start on a new project. Do not repopulate the list without doing the rest of the projects on the list. You can reload once all 10 have been finished.
You might be wondering whether this works and it does. Doing this kind of system teaches you to develop a trait that will help you become an accomplished student.
Doing more and working less is simply hard to implement. How then will you make things work out for you without wasting too much of your time? Below are some tips you can use to start working less and be more productive.
- Always keep track of how much you are actually getting done in a single day. It is common to feel guilty if you have things you need to do and yet you chose to have a lot of fun. Your current and future output when compared should show some increase. If you keep track of the things you actually did, it is easier for you to be more productive and spare time for some leisure.
- Avoid doing the same thing in one setting. Put some new experiences in between or discover some new methods of doing things so that you wouldn’t fuel the lazy person in you. You can join organizations, start new hobbies or find new challenges that would fuel your imagination and your mind.
- Know your motivation and keep it. If there are one or two things that can motivate or inspire you to do more, go for it. Not knowing what motivates you in doing something is an easy way to let the boredom creep in. Find a higher purpose why you should attend classes or finish assignments or projects.
- Sit down and focus on one task in one hour and you’ll realize you have done more than you can when you try to do all things at once in an eight our day.
Focus is the key to taking down notes effectively. Only take down notes that are new to you. What’s the point of writing down the things you already know? Furthermore, take down key points that are relevant and can be used later on. That being said, there are two major things you need to understand when taking down notes namely –
Taking down notes effectively means you have actually done the reading yourself. The information you need to take note includes –
- Dates for your notes to be in chronology and understand the entire event
- Names for you to associate the events or ideas better
- Theories which essentially are the main key points
- Definition of things that is new to you
- Points of arguments and debates such as pros and cons, criticisms of an idea and both sides of the coin.
- Illustrations and exercises
There are still things you need to take down. If your professor hardly writes on board then everything he writes in there should be written down unless the information is deemed self-evident or known. Also, listen to what your professor is saying. Anything relevant to the subject or topic that is not found in any printed document, text or books should be written down.
Your classmates may give information that is relevant as well. Try to capture their comments or questions. This will help you understand the entire topic later on.
Lastly, write down all your questions as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor and get you the answers you need.
Time management is one of the things that are not taught inside the four corners of a classroom. It is a skill you need to develop so that you become more productive and do many things all at once.
•Always read your emails and don’t leave anything sitting in your inbox. Sort out the emails into categories or folders. If the message needs more time before replying, leave it on the to-do folder and so forth. The point is you need to clear your inbox from clutter.
•Multitasking isn’t always good especially for college students who didn’t grow up in the technology invaded world. Multitasking is deadly if you don’t know how to juggle watching TV, replying to instant messages and doing homework all at once. Try to limit this practice.
•Prioritize the most important thing in your list. The first thing you need to do in the morning before you do anything is to list down the things you need to do whether you do this on your phone, notebook or paper is completely up to you.
•Read your emails daily but do it on schedule. It wouldn’t do you any good if you read emails as soon as it arrives. Even though someone contacted you, this doesn’t mean you have to respond immediately. If you want to be more productive at what you do, focus on the task that you specified on schedule and stick with it.
•Instead of making random notes just about anywhere, take advantage of bookmarking services. This will help you get rid of the clutter.
The best thing about time management is you get to achieve many things in a day without compromising on anything.
For students who are currently attending college, surviving the rigorous training may not exactly be the task you signed up for but nonetheless you are required to complete. Here are some useful tips that you can make use of:
- Study your lessons at least 3 days prior to your major exam. If you can study for at least around 2-3 hours a day, this would be very helpful especially when you don’t do well when you cram. If you have time management strategy, this would be very simple.
- Don’t study the night before you take the exam. Instead, you should go to bed earlier and get plenty of rest so that your mind will not get too exhausted which will result to sleepiness on your exam.
- Go to school at least 1 hour prior to your examination and take your seat at least 10 minutes before the exam commences. This allows you to relax and prepare yourself for the upcoming challenge.
- Make sure you read instructions well and follow them strictly so that you wouldn’t have any problems later on.
- Scan the entire paper before you answer any question so that you can have adequate time to plan ahead. This way, you would know how much time you should allot for each item.
- Always check the back of each questionnaire so that you wouldn’t have to miss anything.
- If you are answering essay questions, it is important that you state your complete answer. You need to read the question properly and answer it completely.
Most students worry about making the best out of their semester which is usually gauge by the lessons you have learned throughout. But a more important thing is – how?
Organization This is usually self-explanatory for college students who have a hard time coping with time management and even studying. But here are some practical things you can follow –
•Take notes – “A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind.” This is usually one of the greatest adages that you can follow about studying and learning. There are things that your sharp mind tends to miss later on but when you write everything down on your notebook or post-it papers you enhance your chance at remember it later on.
•Agenda list – It is important that you make a regular weekly list of itinerary. Your agenda should give you sense of direction and purpose making everything better every day.
•Real time inbox – This is a figurative term which simply refers to a permanent place in your room or apartment where you study. This is where you will place all your notes, books and assignment papers.
•Get to know your professors – Search engines usually give you short biography on your teachers. Alternatively and more accurately, you can search about them in your school library. Learn about their research interests and knowledge.
•Study partner/mentor – The secret to success is not about being alone but being able to find someone who can understand your habits and study style.
“In life, you take the exam first before you learn but in college you learn first before taking the exam.”
There are two primary skills that you need to practice and learn about namely –
- Time management
When you are taking a written exam, the first thing you need to do is to allocate an enough time for you to complete the total items of the exam. This is what proper time management is all about. If you don’t allocate enough time for each of the item, you wouldn’t have enough time to think. The best things that you can do include –
Sort out the Exam Questions
There are three categories by which you can divide the sets of questions during an exam but even though this takes time the end result is usually worth it. The three categories include –
- Questions you know well (easy questions)
- Questions you know better (moderately hard)
- Questions you know nothing about (hard questions)
If you go through the examination items, answer the easy questions first since they usually don’t take too much time followed by the moderately hard questions. More importantly, allot more time on the hard questions since they would usually take time to answer.
Do not leave any items blank especially on items that you know nothing about. Sometimes, the best guess is the best answer rather than leaving the space blank.
The power of deduction is usually related to answering questions especially in the moderately hard and hard questions. By using this skill, you will be able to arrive at an answer that most people would call “educated guess.” Deduction merely takes off two erroneous answers basing on factors.
Generally, it is not good for the eyes to read while on the road. Well, I beg to differ – most of the time we spend at least 30 minutes walking to get to our classes.
Thirty minutes can make a big difference in your learning experience. Here’s how to be productive while commuting –
- Listen to audio books, podcasts and class recordings – It has been proven that listening can significantly improve your knowledge base. It helps you discover the things you might have missed before.
- Always keep flash cards with you all the time – Flash cards are easy to read and it doesn’t even take 30 minutes to cover everything.
- List your priorities for the day – You can list on a piece of paper your itineraries for the day so that it is easier for you to stay on track.
- Proofread your papers – You can scan your papers and check for grammatical, spelling and sentence construction errors.
- Scan class notes – Reading while you are on the move is a big no-no thus it is better to scan your notes or probably take a peek on highlighted texts.
- Return calls and text messages – If you missed some calls and messages, the great time to respond or take a call is during your commute.
Finally, learning how to relax through breathing techniques while you are commuting is a great way to become productive.