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How To Boost Your Grades – Now!

How To Boost Your Grades – Now!

The school year has started, and this means new textbooks are being opened; new ideas are being taught all around the globe. It also marks (pun intended!) the beginning of a long-term partnership with studying and absorbing information. According to Newton’s third law of motion, it is easier for one’s grades to fall freely, than to have to manually pull them upwards – which requires both work and energy. Fret not. There are many more ways than one to boost them. It is not a simple positive correlation between the number of hours spent reviewing and achievement. Take traditional advice with a grain of salt – we are now in the 21st century, thus learning has doubtingly changed.

Ask Yourself, “Why?”

The courses you have on your schedule – why did you take them? Have a good, long moment to reflect upon your choices. Everybody has goals and career directions, and yes, that means that the subjects selected should be of meaning or direct use to fulfill that. If not, maybe it stems from pure interest. If you find yourself losing motivation somewhere during the year, refocus on those aims and think long-term. Do they genuinely bring happiness? Are you emotionally satisfied and energized?

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Procrastinate Wisely

Easier said than done: to not procrastinate is virtually impossible, as stress gets to the best of us sometimes. However, there are manageable techniques to beat the monkey and control your procrastination than letting it control you. To begin, it is all in the mind. Every burst of procrastination begins with a choice. Social media, prolonged periods of eating, digital games and being stuck in the never-ending realm of YouTube are just a few examples of that. The trick is to limit the time spent on each burst using a timing method. The popular Pomodoro technique is an excellent example to increase productivity, and in the end, your grades!

Ask, Ask, Ask!

Don’t be afraid to approach the teacher or professor when there is a point or two that need to be clarified. They will notice the effort you put in and will keep a mental note in the back of their minds. It does not demonstrate a lack of intelligence or inability to listen attentively in class. In reality, it demonstrates the very opposite – a keen, responsible student.

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Set Goals Early

Goals are absolutely crucial in the maintenance of high-soaring grades. They keep us grounded and push us to be hard-working. Although it is not compulsory in school, it does help give meaning to every assignment being completed as opposed to an empty feeling of “Why am I doing this?”. Take out a piece of paper, pen – and get writing. It is never too late to set, modify, or discontinue personal goals.

Be Confident

It is near impossible to find success with your head down. There lies a continuum of hope and ambition, whenever anyone raises their head high. There’s no secret formula or routine to follow to promote confidence is your life – it is learned by repeating positive affirmations throughout the day. There may be times bombarded with countless tasks, making stress levels at and all-time high. Do not panic. It’s alright to cry and let those emotions out once in a while. Stress is what you make of it; nobody has the power to create stress in your life, unless you make the very decision to dwell on it.

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At the end of the day, grades are just numbers, and always remember that your potential is far greater. The sky’s the limit to growth and development – as Einstein once said, “The man who never made a mistake, never learned anything new.” Head up, chin up!

Featured photo credit: www.flrtib.org via flrtib.org

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Lily Yuan

Full-Time Student

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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