I’m happy to present a guest article today on the popular and troublesome topic of procrastination. It’s a very important topic in the personal development space and one well deserving some attention, your feedback and any discussion.
Every college student has been there at one time or another. You know you have a big exam or paper coming due, but you put it off and put it off. Then, suddenly, the deadline is looming right in front of you and you’re up all night, working like a crazy person and downing coffee to get your studying or writing done. Even if you’ve had success with this kind of cramming in the past, many researchers believe that it can actually be detrimental to both your mental health and your academic performance in the long run. Debatewise lists some of the negative effects of cramming as:
- Not actually learning the material but merely memorizing enough to pass
- A recent UCLA study also finds that the lack of sleep caused by cramming, even when that time is spent studying, can actually do much more harm than good (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/uoc–cfa082212.php).
Believe it or not, you can make late-night cramming a thing of the past. It simply takes a little effort on your part. The first and most important thing is effective time management. If you’re struggling to find time to get everything done, it may be time to go through your schedule and see what activities you could cut back on. Maybe you could cut back on a few hours at work or perhaps even opt out of a few social events. If you’re really, seriously overwhelmed, dropping a class may even be necessary, though you should only do this when it will not affect your grade or look poorly on your transcript. Making choices such as going to the library instead of the keg party isn’t always easy, but it’s what the smart student has to do. If you aren’t sure where your time is going, consider keeping a daily log of your activities; you might find that you’re wasting too much time on Facebook or watching television instead of studying, and cutting out these activities could give you a lot more time to get your work done.
It goes without saying, of course, that you should attend every single class unless you are too ill to do so or have a serious emergency come up. Don’t just go to class and play on your computer, however. No, it’s imperative that you actually pay attention and take careful notes in class. Always write down anything that the teacher puts on the board and listen to him or her for key and repeated points during the lecture and be sure to take note of those. Not only will this give you great notes to study by, but it can also help you to retain the information better and to actually have a real grasp of the material. It’s much easier to study things you know than it is to study information you’re really just absorbing for the first time.
Finally, find a study group or a study partner! This is a good way to compare notes and to make sure that everyone has all of the necessary information to do well on the test. Since different people find different things important, combining information is an excellent way to get everything that you need to succeed. Just make sure those study sessions don’t turn into gab-fests, or you could find yourself worse-off for your involvement.
As so many in the workforce are aware, this concern is hardly lost on those who hold full-time jobs: many people face this issue in their professional careers. From attorneys to business executives, freelance writers to musicians, professionals routinely run into problems because of poor work habits acquired at earlier stages of their lives. It is doubly imperative for professionals to develop strong work habits since their livelihood depends on their performance. Fortunately, many strategies which apply to the classroom apply equally well in the workplace – for instance, if you’re having difficulty managing deadlines on the job, reach out to coworkers who may be available to help. Though many workplaces have an undesirable ‘cutthroat’ culture of excessive competition, many workplaces encourage coworkers to assist each other in the process of becoming better professionals. Also, it’s very important that professionals take advantage of the wide array of technological devices which can potentially assist with time management. This is one area in which professionals may be better situated than students since students typically have less disposable income. There are many high quality cell phones and other gadgets which possess in-built time management features (such as daily reminders). Above all, understand that developing yourself in this area is like a marathon rather than a sprint, and thus takes perseverance and determination.
This article was composed by Ty Whitworth for the team at keiseruniversity.edu; for those interested in online learning be sure to view their Online Degree in Medical Assisting as well as other degrees.
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