Procrastination Control: Success
Tips For Adult Students
4. Be flexible. If you get behind,
Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT, throw the whole schedule out
the window. Readjust your study plans and get yourself
back on track. Everyone fails. It is those people who
pick themselves up and get back to work that succeed.
5. Be accountable. If there are other
adults in the house let them know this is your study
time. Tell someone what your goals are so that you will
be held accountable. Even better, tell your teenage
son or daughter when your homework is due. Mom,
is your homework done yet? That will get any parent
6. Be Prepared. I admit that I eat
during my study time. Set up what you need before you
get started. If you know that you work better with snacks
or even a glass of water, get it first. Of course, dont
forget the necessities, textbooks, papers, pens. Gather
everything that you will need first. You waste valuable
time getting up and down looking for items that could
have been collected together. Once you sit down to
work you should have no reason to get up until the job
7. Pace yourself. Get yourself a timer,
one with a loud ticking noise, and set it next to you.
This will help to remind you that your time is precious.
Hearing the ticking will keep your mind focused and
on task. Set it for how ever long you have to get the
job done and dont stop until it rings.
8. Reward yourself. When you were
a child at school your teacher would give you stickers
and stars for getting a good grade. You would get your
name written on the board to be let out early for lunch
for helping her in class. Though these are small rewards
they work. Put a big star on your calendar or syllabus
when you have completed your work. WARNING: never reward
yourself with a day off from your school work schedule.
This is a slippery slope and will lead you to a long
night at your computer.
9. Be a friend. Finding or creating
a study group can also be helpful for keeping you on
track. Peer review is a great source of help and advice
on fine tuning your work. A word of caution: remember
the importance of association. If you want As,
study with others who not only want As but are
willing to do the work to get an A.
10. Stay motivated. What motivates
you? Why do you want to do this? You could be camped
out on the couch watching CSI, but instead you have
taken a huge step and enrolled yourself back in school.
What dream is this going to accomplish for you? Find
a picture that helps you think of that dream and tape
it where you will see it everyday. I place one on
my fridge and a second picture next to my computer.
When I am struggling to stay focused I take a moment
and I look at my pictures, letting my mind daydream.
If I can imagine myself there, I can get there and I
will start now.
11. Believe in yourself. Affirmations
have been proven to work for everything from quitting
smoking to having better self esteem. Listen to the
affirmations that you are giving yourself everyday.
Do you say, I cant do that, Ive
never been good at that subject, Its
too hard? If this is what you hear, you are feeding
your brain with very bad junk food. Recognize and acknowledge
your negative thoughts and then turn them into positive
thoughts. Here are some of mine to get you going. See
what you can come up with on your own.
Negative thought: What was
I thinking when I decided to take this math class?
Replace with: I have two teenagers,
math doesnt scare me.
Negative thought: Im too
old to learn new things.
Replace with: If the professor,
who is younger than my youngest child, can teach this
class, I can pass it.
As a wife, mother, business owner and adult student
I have been asked how I do it all. I happily admit that
these tips have been my saving grace. I hope that they
help you in your quest for higher knowledge and greater
experiences. It is a difficult but worthwhile road.
Shayne Rivers is a freelance writer, mother of two
and a Ph.D. student living in Northern California.
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