Study Tips and Success Tools
Are you disorganized?
You’re in trouble if…
- You show up at the wrong classroom for your course.
- You forgot to do your readings for today’s test.
- You are late for your team meeting or forgot to do your part because you didn’t write down the information.
- You can’t understand your notes because they are incomplete.
- You always need to refer to your friends to check your information.
- You seem to be always late, misinformed or overloaded.
Tips to stay on track and have peace of mind!
- Use an agenda and write down your appointments, meetings, courses, etc.
- Have copies of your schedule on your fridge, in your locker and one with you on paper.
- After each course, take a few minutes to summarize, complete your notes and put them at the right place where you will find them.
- Use a semester calendar to track all meetings, deadlines, tests and important dates.
- Organize a workspace where you can put your things all one place.
- Write a daily list of things to do.
- Establish your priorities and make sensible choices.
- The night before, gather everything you need for the following day.
Prioritizing: list or rate (as projects or goals) in order of priority.
Summarizing: condense extensive information into a shorter version which covers the main points in the original text.
Organize: arrange into a structured and functioning order.
Procrastination: How to Beat it?
1. Be Honest! Recognize that you are a procrastinator.
By simply admitting you are procrastinating, you are already one step closer to fixing the problem. If you set your mind to it, you can probably stop or at least reduce your procrastination.
2. Why are you procrastinating?
Tired of doing unpleasant tasks, feeling disorganized, feeling overwhelmed, not motivated or you just don’t know what to do or where to start?
Understanding why you’re not doing the job or postponing it is important so you can find the right solution for you. There is always an emotional reason behind your procrastination and understanding it will help you to change things.
There is always more than one solution to a problem…be creative!
3. Make a TO DO list with due dates of everything you need to accomplish.
You need to see everything you have to do so you can prioritize what needs to be done ON TIME. Once a task is done, write it off your list and go on to the next one.
4. Plan ahead. Short-term gain or long-term pain?
Sometimes working on something right away and forgetting about it will be more effective and rewarding than waiting later or doing it at the last minute. Once something is done, you can clear it from your list. Remember, working under pressure doesn’t always mean better quality of work. Maybe it’s only that you can accomplish more tasks. Why take the chance?
5. Don’t eat your elephant in one bite.
If you feel that your workload is too big, you don’t know how to start or don’t understand, why not split the workload into smaller pieces? That way it will be less overwhelming and stressful and you will probably manage to do it more easily. For example: instead of reading an entire chapter of 50 pages, read 5 to 10 pages at a time and make sure you understand. Then continue to the other pages until your work is done.
6. Set some objectives and reward yourself for accomplishing them.
You can set yourself some goals for an hour, a day, or a week or some amount of work to do in a period of time by making a plan. Once it’s done, scratch it from your list and give yourself a big reward for your job.
Just remember…the city of Paris wasn’t built in a day!
Some studies show that it takes 21 days (3 weeks) for our brain to register a new habit and develop an automatism. Can you take on that challenge?
You just need to be serious and wiling about beating your procrastination. Go one day at a time and apply yourself.
Are you stressed out?
It’s completely normal to feel stressed.
Stress comes with the demands of daily life.
Stress happens when you experience something new, unknown, sudden or threatening to you.
It’s OK to feel stressed when you feel you have little or no control in a given situation.
Stress can affect you physically, emotionally, mentally and behaviourally.
Stress can wreak havoc on your body. Watch out if you have sleep problems, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, fatigue, sadness, heart palpitations, irritability, head, stomach or back aches, or if you feel totally overwhelmed or depressed.
Notice what your body is telling you…and take action before it’s too late!
- Find a support system. Find someone to talk to about your feelings and experiences.
- Change your attitude. Find other ways to think about stressful situations. Remember: life is 90% how we react to it.
- Be realistic. Set practical goals for dealing with situations and solving problems you can handle.
- Ask for help! You are human and sometimes it’s OK to not know what to do.
- Get organized and take charge. Not establishing your priorities or creating an action plan will only make you more frustrated and stressed.
- Take good care of yourself. Eat, sleep properly and do something you enjoy every day.
- Learn to say “No”. Pick and choose wisely. You can’t do it all.
- Exercise frequently, take a walk or just go outside.
- Find a hobby, do something different. Play is as important as work to create a balanced lifestyle.
- Slow down. Know your limits and cut down on some things.
- Laugh. Stress doesn’t like laughter!
- Learn and just relax…
Patrick Cloutier co
University Success Coach