You have started a (part-time) training in good spirits and you are off to a good start. You make a tight and ambitious schedule for yourself and you know how to stick to it in the first few weeks. However, after a few months, motivation starts to fade a bit and assignments are left behind. That will come later, there is still time! Until suddenly the deadline comes very quickly in sight and the race against the clock starts. This often results in stress, sleepless nights and sometimes even a negative impact on your mental health.
A recognizable phenomenon for many students, which is also known as #study avoiding behavior. But don’t worry! You can easily and quickly tackle procrastination yourself. In this blog I list 8 tips that can help you to successfully complete your education without (too much) stress.
1: Make small tasks
For each subject you have to complete different assignments. By dividing everything into bite-sized chunks, you can keep this clear for yourself. For example, it helps to make an overview per subject of which steps you need to take to pass the subject. For example: taking an online class, writing a description of your company or doing research on a certain topic. Then pick up two or three tasks from the list per week. That way, you’ll make steady progress and keep doing it. Do you feel like you’re doing well after those two or three tasks? Then carry on!
2: Make clear what you want to do
In a schedule you can keep track of the tasks that you want to do and when. It’s nice to be able to check things off your list. Then you really have the feeling that you are doing well and it is easier to stay in that flow. Therefore, make a “to-do list” for each study moment.
3: Get everything ready to start
After a long working day, it takes quite a bit of discipline to restart your laptop at home and then work on your studies. It helps to set up a nice place for it in your house. Prepare your laptop the night before or in the morning before work and grab the books you will need for your planned tasks. Then you only have to make a large cup of tea and you can get started.
4: Take small steps
At the start of the semester you have chosen a number of subjects to take. However, it is impossible to start all of these at once and finish them as quickly as possible (By the way, hats off to those who can!). It is therefore better to divide it per subject. If you schedule three or four study moments a week for yourself, don’t work on everything at once, but take small steps. For example, work on two subjects for the first few weeks and complete them before starting the next one.
5: Don’t get distracted
Your study place is very important. As mentioned before, it is best to set up a nice place for yourself. I speak from experience when I say that the dining room table is not ideal. You see everything that still needs to happen around you, which suddenly seems very important that it happens right now! Therefore, create your own place in the house where you can hardly or not be distracted. This way you can fully focus on your tasks and you will be done with your planned tasks faster.
6: Allow yourself some laziness
Part-time study is a commitment. You are determined to complete the training in the foreseeable future. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to indulge in the gym or watch Netflix on the couch! Give yourself those moments too, because relaxation is very important. If you schedule a few study moments for yourself every week, you have the space to do fun things the rest of the time.
7: Do what you dread the most
There will be subjects during your studies that you have not had much of a taste for, or where your interests are not at all. You will still have to take these courses in order to pass the training. In the part-time program you have the luxury of choosing when you want to follow which course. Therefore, do not miss these boxes. Rather spread them out over the semesters. Then you won’t suddenly have a very tough half year at the end!
8: Give yourself an achievable deadline
A tight and ambitious schedule is nice, but often not realistic. It also has a demotivating effect when you fail to meet certain deadlines in your planning. So don’t be too hard on yourself and give yourself time to finish things. Set a deadline for yourself when you want to complete a course. So don’t just say that you want to complete a certain subject within two weeks, but make it feasible. After all, it’s more fun to see that you finish something well before your own deadline, than that you are far from done.
If you keep these tips in mind, I’m sure your procrastination will be a thing of the past. #Study behavior!