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Time management and procrastination

October 14, 2019

 

Sounds familiar? The exam week is coming and instead of studying you decide to clean your desk, room, bathroom and cook something as you are, all of a sudden, hungry. Next thing you know, it's a night before the exam and you are panicking! How NOT to get there - our student Mrudula will discover her tricks. 

 

Procrastination is a common vice among students; I procrastinated while writing this blog and am handing it in at the nick of time. Why are we like this? Why is it so hard to do things as planned at the right time? Is it because we’re over-confident about over ability to finish tasks in limited time? Or overestimate our abilities to multitask? What is the solution? 

 

As implied in the first sentence, I’m someone who still has the habit so I am not going to suggest that I am qualified to give solutions to people. But I will share what works for me.

 

I have never lived away from home thus never had to worry about arranging the logistics. I felt like I am always spending time cooking and other miscellaneous things which have nothing to do with studies. I was so behind in reading my literature, feeling anxious, I arranged for an appointment with the student advisor at the university. She recognized my habit of getting distracted because of too many things on my mind. She had two simple tips to combat this: 

 

  1. Mind Dump: Do you overthink everything which interrupts your flow of thought while studying or something else ? Practice making a mind dump: write down all of your thoughts on a piece of paper to get it out of your head so that you can go back to studying. 

  2. Priority list: Have a lot to do for studies and other things? Make a priority list with deadlines in ascending order so that you can get the most important things done first. This is very important for people who have low productivity levels.

Apart from this, there’s an option to find people to study with to get motivated. You can do so by simply asking people or signing up for Peer Support or join in the Back on Track Study Group. You don’t need to be from the same majors to study together! Having similar study habits and mutual understanding is good enough. Making weekly timetables is also good for allocating time for unproductive but important tasks like grocery shopping, meal-prepping and laundry. 

 

Consistency is important for achieving success in managing time and will power is a depletable resource, so do not beat yourself up if you fail to follow what you have planned a few times; go back to your notepad (or board) to see if you can update something to make things more efficient or recollect what was the idea behind your plan to put yourself back on track. Pat yourself on the back for each task finished and reward yourself with time for leisure or retail therapy (or just window shopping ;)). 

 

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