My first tip is what I am going to call a ‘daily goals list’. Write down your goals, things you want to change or things you want to do better in your life. Now, this alone is not going to make you do the work you need to do. Write down a plan, some steps you need to follow in order to reach your goal. Make the plan something you can do every day or something you need to do at least a couple of times a week. I for example wrote down that I want to do better in school. My plan to do that is to attend all lectures, revise lecture notes every day, summarize, etc. A list like this is perfect to create a daily planner because you know what you need to do. It has another use that I like even more: at the end of the day, I grab my daily goals list, and check if I did everything I need to do in order to reach my goals. Did I attend the lecture? Check! Did I revise today’s lecture? Check! If I didn’t do something, I need to give account to myself. Why didn’t I do it? How am I going to do better tomorrow? If I didn’t have enough time, I should plan more efficiently. If I felt tired, I have to go to bed a little bit earlier and relax more in order to get my things done.
My second tip is to breaks your tasks down into chunks that are so small that you cannot find excuses to not do it. The task will take so little effort that other tasks that you want use to procrastinate on this task will take more effort than this task. (Does this make any sense to you?) By breaking bigger tasks down into smaller tasks, it won’t feel as hard anymore and it will be easier for you to get your work done.
My third and last tip is to create a routine in your daily life to beat procrastination. The problem with studying (or exercising or whatever you are procrastinating on) is that it feels like a chore to you because it takes so much effort and you really don’t want to do it. By creating a routine (morning routine, after school routine, weekend routine), you will notice that the things you need to do won’t feel as hard as before because you are used to it. If you are used to studying for 3 hours a day in your weekend, it won’t feel as a chore to you but something you just do every day.
Do what you love, love what you do. This is a quote from one of my notebooks and it is so true. If you do what you love, the task won’t feel like a chore to you anymore. It is not work, it is like a hobby. Try to only do things that you love and you won’t mind working hard on it. I for example love law so when I am studying it often doesn’t even feel like studying because I am very passionate about it. If you don’t like what you are doing: fake it until you make it. Pretend like you like it, even if you don’t like it at all. Your attitude towards something can change the way you think about it. To quote the movie Paris, je t’aime: ‘By acting like a man in love, he became a man in love again.’
Just do it. This sounds so obvious but this is the one that is the hardest: just do the work. Open your books, grab your pens, and then do it. Stop thinking of excuses, just do your work. Sometimes you have to be hard on yourself. Of course it would be great if there was a video, a quote, a picture, a tip that would make you do the work but in the end it is you who is responsible for your life and for your actions. You can decide to be lazy all day and not do a thing, but you can also get up and face it that you have to work even if you don’t want to/don’t feel like it. You have one life, and you get to decide what you want to do with it.
The first thing you are going to need is a good planning. As you cannot afford to lose any precious time it is important to use the time you have. Make a list of all the important things you need to do and try to fit in as much as possible.
Don’t plan too much. If you know you don’t have 5 hours to study but you plan in things that will cost you 5 hours, you won’t finish your to do list and you will feel even more stressed because you couldn’t do all the things you wanted to do. Be realistic and honest when you are making a planning.
Get up as early as possible to do the things you want to do. I think mornings are amazing to get work done because it is so quiet and nobody expects anything from you everyone else is asleep. There aren’t a lot of people on social media and if you live in a house with multiple people like I do it will be great to have a few hours of quietness in the house. While the whole world is sleeping, you are chasing your dreams.
Try to multitask. If you have to sit in the bus for an hour to get home, use that hour to your advantage and study/revise something. Especially if you have to do other things first when you get home like cooking or playing sports. I personally like to write articles in the train or edit pictures or new videos.
If you have classes where you barely learn something, do something else instead. Not every teacher will allow this but in my university the professor won’t even notice if I am summarizing his/her subject during the lectures. I mean, you spend 4-9 hours at school every day so make sure you are doing something there that is worth your time.
Try to do as much as possible on days where you don’t have to do a lot. If you for example don’t have a lot of time to work on weekdays, try to finish all your homework in your weekends so you don’t have to do a lot on school days. You can also prep exams/tests by making summaries in your weekend so you only have to study a little bit on weekdays.
Before you start making a summary, you should consider if it is a good idea to summarise the course. Not every subject and not every book is ideal to summarize. For example, if your book contains a lot of details and you know there are going to be a lot of detailed questions on your exam, it is a smarter idea to just start studying instead of making a whole summary.
I always use the first page of the notebook that I use for writing my summary to write down all the important things the professor says about the exam, what the exam is going to look like, to make a content table for my summary and other important things. This is something really useful because when it’s time to start studying you’ll have a page with all the important things you need to know about the exam.
Use a color coding system that works for you. I personally don’t like to use a lot of colors in my notes and summary. That’s why I use a fineliner for titles and articles and a highlighter for all the definitions.
Make sure your summary is very clear, so you have a good overview. I like to use bullet points and I make sure that in every bullet point, there is something important, a main idea.
While you are summarizing, keep the content table open next to you. If you do this, you’ll keep seeing the bigger picture and you will also see everything important.
My next tip is to don’t use highlighters until you have written a whole page or until you have finished a paragraph. After that, highlight all the important things. This way, you are forcing yourself to read the summary so you will remember it a lot better. It’s also helpful to see if you still understand what you wrote down.
Make sure you have read the book at least once before summarizing. If you do this, you will understand everything a lot better while summarizing and it will make sure you summarise a lot quicker, because you already have an idea on what’s important and what isn’t.
If you have trouble with finding the most important things in your books this tip might help you. In every paragraph, there is a main point or a main idea. There is something in there that is the most important thing you need to study and understand for the exam. A lot of the times, it’s the first or last sentence of the paragraph. Try to look for the main point/idea in every paragraph.
My last tip is to read your summary on a regular basis. Making a summary is going to help you remember a lot of the information and understand it, but making a summary doesn’t necessarily mean that you studied everything. Make the summary, read it often and study it to be fully prepared for your exam.