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OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION

Managing your time while you are in college can be extremely difficult. In high school you had weekly assignments and tests to keep you on track, and at work a boss monitors your output. In college, however, there are fewer external motivators.

The general guideline is to spend 2 hours of outside study for each hour in class (24 hours of study per week if you are taking 12 hours). Listed below are some time management strategies used by students at WNMU to achieve their study goals. Experiment to find which of these strategies might work for you.

FINDING TIME
1. During the first week of class, do the reading for the first two weeks; that way you will have a “week in reserve” which you can draw upon later in the semester as unforeseen problems arise.
2. Think of college as a Monday-Friday, 9-5 job; show up on campus at 9:00 and don’t leave until 5:00 (some students register for both early and late classes just so that they will be forced to stay on campus). Use evenings and weekends for part-time jobs and family chores. Of course, you will also need to do some studying during the evenings and weekends, but do most of your studying 9 A.M.-5 P.M.
3. Use a schedule. Have a semester calendar posted above your desk, listing the dates for all tests and papers. Use a weekly schedule, either in the format of time blocks set aside for each course, or a simple “to do” list of study tasks for the week. Break down your work into roughly one-hour tasks. Some students prefer to write daily “to do“ lists on post-it notes. The last item should be to write tomorrow’s list).
4. Study during your “prime time,” the time of day when your concentration is best. For many students, one hour of daytime study is equivalent to one and a half hours of evening study. 5. Do the homework for your most difficult course first.
6. Think about how you can use commuting time to study. Instead of leaving campus, find a close location to utilize time for studying.

REDUCING DISTRACTIONS
1. Find a good place to study, usually the library. Other good places to study might include study areas in various departments or dorms. If you are a commuter, stay on campus to study during the week and on weekends go to a library near your home to study. Trying to study at home usually leads to distractions, thus prolonging your study time.
2. Don’t put temptation in your path. Don’t turn on the T. V. until your day’s homework is finished. Unplug your telephone while you study. Hang a “Do not disturb” sign on your door.
3. As you study, keep a “to do” list nearby and record any reminders to yourself or worries that are distracting you.

INCREASING MOTIVATION
1. Reward yourself at the end of each task, day, and week. For example, take a 10 minute break when you’ve completed a study task. Decide ahead of time what you will do during your break and make it something that you really want to do (buy an ice cream cone, play a song with the volume up, etc.). Set an alarm on your watch as a reminder to return to your studies when your 10 or 15 minute break is up. When you finish your goals for the day, take the night off. After a successful week, buy a new C. D.
2. Form a study group to make some of your study time more lively and interesting. Also, decide before your meeting what material the group will cover and tell everyone to come prepared. You will then feel pressured to do the work by the meeting time.
3. Get enough sleep so you can work at top efficiency the next day! Studies show that many young people need 8-9 hours per night.
4. Calculate what you hope to make per hour after you graduate and ask yourself if you deserve that salary for what you are doing right now.
5. Post inspirational words above your desk. Surround yourself with positive, successful friends and keep your distance from those who discourage you. Give yourself positive self-talks (e.g., I love chemistry and I’am going to be working as a pharmacist in 7 years). Go to a car dealer and pick out the car you will buy after you graduate.
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