As students, and I mean, as people with piling workload and unending deadlines, we can be stressed and lose our momentum. It is a vicious cycle: the more you procrastinate, the more work is accumulated, making the prospect of finishing it even more exasperating and almost possible. Below are certain tips or tricks or nuggets of wisdom, no matter you call it, that I have personally found to help me accomplish my due tasks. They may not work, but since they tend to be highly experience-based, you have to try it before concluding anything.
1. Break things down
This helps you with the mental side of finish a long project or preparing for a looming midterm. Although you do not start working immediately, it relieves the stress when you actually put down on a piece of paper all the parts that need to be touched on, assign specific dates to all of them and try to follow with the schedule. Even if you cannot stick with the desired plan, it is still much helpful as you tackle the work later since you are already aware of the steps needed in the process. You can avoid the prospect of staying up till 4AM working on a paper because you did not know you had to read three more chapters to be able to answer the prompt. Also, when you know what needs to be done, it gives you a feeling of a confidence.
2. Just do it
Yes, the key to getting things done is obvious: you have to start doing it. And I am not just giving you an idea that is presumed while it should been the destination we are trying to reach. Seizing the impulse to work is truly important in getting a start and consequently, finishing off each task. Although this TEDx Talk is pretty abounded with ideas concerning self-help and whatnot, I am struck with the truth that activation energy is integral to accomplishing what you want. It is the physical force which is required to set you in motion, changing your body mode from “auto-pilot” to “emergency break,” wherein you possess the urge to get your hands on the project. When it comes, try your best to capitalize on the momentum and move the furthest possible. But according to Mel Robbins in her talk, it is equally imperative that you accept such energy is not an external being visiting you from time to time: you will not suddenly feel like doing anything you want to accomplish. You need to deal with the initial discomfort—“like an adult” arguably—and watch as it steadily builds up the velocity to achieve your goals.
3. Motivation << Discipline
Motivation is something we hear a lot in this modern life, especially on the subject of productivity. The truth is, motivation is an elusive concept which is difficult to be grounded in concrete demonstrations or examples. When we talk about honesty, for instance, we can think of the act of telling the truth without distorting or withholding portions of it. But by mentioning motivation, should I then indicate some mysterious power to help a person finish their work? Don’t rely on motivation. Don’t sit around waiting for it. It is better to train yourself into getting things done bits by bits but on a regular basis—in other words, it is better to put yourself into discipline. Set a time everyday when you will work on your SATs. Since I’m in college already, I’d like to make use of the chunk of time between classes. I would go to a library or find a study space nearby and get things done, whether it is doing my homework for the following day or consolidating knowledge gained from the previous class. Soon enough, you will see it as a habit and not some enormous attempt or an unfortunate sacrifice of your time. This also refers to the previous point on ~getting stuff done~ through normalizing your attitude towards work or a certain task.