“I have not yet begun to procrastinate.”
If you’re like most students, studying for an exam is one of the most dreaded, painstaking tasks you could ever be faced with. So, naturally, procrastination is rampant. Here are five things students say to procrastinate, how they rationalize their excuse, what they really mean, and what to do about it.
1. “I’ll start tomorrow.”
Rationalization: “It’s Monday, I have plenty of time to study and the exam isn’t until Thursday…”Advertising
What it actually means: We think that we’ll somehow have more motivation to study later, and naturally want to avoid difficult mental tasks, so we trick ourselves into thinking we know more than we really do, and tell ourselves that we can be prepared for an exam in a lot less time than is really necessary.
What you can do: Start now, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. This will get you over the initial hump, and will quickly provide a more realistic view of how much time it will actually take to prepare. Then, map out the rest of the information that will be covered on the exam, and make a more honest assessment on what time you need to block off for studying.
2. “I don’t have everything I need to get started yet. “
Rationalization: “I’ll wait until I get the study guide or go to the review for the exam.”
What it actually means: We’re overwhelmed by the task at hand and somehow think that our professor giving us an outline, reviewing topics in class, or some other brilliant resource will drop into our laps and make everything easier to understand.Advertising
What you can do: Start with what you have, and add new resources as they come along. This will allow you to get a head start on studying, but will also help you identify gaps in your understanding that you need to figure out later. This also means you can actually take advantage of asking the professor or TA questions during review sessions, rather than mindlessly following along and copying down notes.
3. “I just need to get organized. Then I’ll start studying.”
Rationalization: “I have to do laundry and fold it and neaten my desk anyway, and then once that’s done, I’ll study tomorrow.”
What it actually means: Studying is an extremely energy-intensive mental task, so we like to fill our time with anything else we can convince ourselves is relatively productive instead. We also mistakenly think that if our space is clean, we’ll magically have clarity and motivation, which will help make studying easier.
What you can do: Try changing locations. The urge to get organized is completely understandable, but sometimes there just isn’t time. Go to the library or a common area where you won’t have the urge to tidy up. This may also help to eliminate additional distractions like talking to your roommates or making yourself a midnight snack.Advertising
4. “If I start studying tomorrow morning I’ll be more refreshed and ready to go.”
Rationalization: “I should probably just relax and watch TV and let my brain regroup after a long day of classes.”
What it actually means: You don’t have the energy to get organized and delve into complex topics. You’ve lost the willpower to continue doing difficult tasks and so you make yourself believe you’ll definitely feel better in the morning and can give yourself a pass now.
What you can do: Rather than going to veg in front of the TV, get out and move for a bit. It’s more likely you’ll feel refreshed after an hour of exercise than an hour of television. Then give yourself a time limit and study or get organized for the next day’s plan of attack. You’ll feel better for being active and you’ll feel better having at least gotten a start.
5. “It’s okay, if I bomb this exam, it probably won’t affect my grade too much.”
Rationalization: “If I get an A on everything else, I’ll be totally fine.”Advertising
What it actually means: You don’t believe in or trust in the knowledge you have, so you create an excuse for yourself to lessen the blow. You already know your grade won’t be great so why try to make sense of what you don’t understand.
What you can do: We all know this is a slippery slope. Relying on a perfect score on all the remaining exams and projects is unrealistic for the best of students. So, take the time to brainstorm everything you know about a specific topic on the exam. Don’t look at the book or at your notes, just go from memory. You’ll be surprised at the amount of information you actually have retained, and it will help give you the little boost of confidence you need to start filling in the gaps.
Featured photo credit: Students via blogs.independent.co.uk
Last Updated on January 24, 2020
10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful
Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.
Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.
Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:
- The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
- The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
- The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.
Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.
Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.
Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.
That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.
1. Begin Your Day with Meditation
I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.
Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.
Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.
2. Be Grateful for What You Have
Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.
Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,
“I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”
Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?
Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.
Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.
Can you smile again?
4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.
If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.
This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.
Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.
5. Exercise Daily
One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule. He said,
‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’
He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.
6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance
Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.
Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.
So how do you manage your time effectively?
Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;
“I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.
And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:
- Monday – Management
- Tuesdays – Product
- Wednesday – Marketing and growth
- Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
- Fridays – Culture and recruiting
- Saturdays – Taking off
- Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday
No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.
7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions
Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.
Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.
Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,
“What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”
Be intentional about your daily goals!
8. Seek Inspiration
It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.
A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.
Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.
Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,
“The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”
9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence
I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.
However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.
10. Budget and Track Your Spendings
Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,
“A small leak sinks a great ship.”
It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.
Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.
The Bottom Line
Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.
More About Habits
- 16 Everyday Habits of Highly Productive People
- 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away
- 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits
Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com
|||^||James Clear: Gratitude Habit|
|||^||APS: The Psychological Study of Smile|
|||^||NPD: 31 Million U.S. Consumers Skip Breakfast Each Day, Reports NPD|
|||^||Product Hunt: Jack Dorsey’s Comment|
|||^||Forbes: The Jack Dorsey Productivity Secret That Enables Him To Run Two Companies At Once|
|||^||Forbes: The Most Successful People Don’t Set Goals — They Do This Instead|
|||^||CNBC: Author who studies self-made billionaires: 9 things that motivate the ultra-rich to succeed|
|||^||CNBC: A $1,000 emergency would push many Americans into debt|