Monday, February 21, 2011

Get focused ASAP - Beating procrastination

Last weekend, I just couldn't regain my focus and concentration. I basically didn't get anything done because I was overwhelmed by the feeling I have to accomplish every assignment. I was just watching TV series and procrastinating till the very last minute.
I'm writing this to you so when you get to similar situation, you can learn from my mistake and probably try the approach I'm trying right now.

Just relax. It sometimes happens that you just don't get the work done. If there is no such threat as failing the whole course, it's okay to make the mistake and allow yourself to spend whole weekend watching Boston Legal. It's something you have put priority on for some reason.

The point is to recognize when your brain is ready to go on. It is very important not to panic. :-) Try this checklist first:
Which assignment is due next day? Or which one you have to submit first?
Which assignment is going to be graded?

Start with an assignment that matches these two conditions. Then, ask yourself these questions:
What is the purpose of this assignment? What is the main idea?
What resources you're going to need?
Can a friend help you with it?
What is the minimum that would satisfy the assignment? (It doesn't have to be perfect if you're running out of time).

If you have troubles concentrating, try to focus for twenty minutes ONLY on this assignment. Turn off Facebook. Turn off your email notifications. Turn off your cell phone and Skype, if necessary. Just get yourself focused just on this one assignment so you complete it as soon as possible on the level that will satisfy your minimal expectations.

When you'll be finished, you'll be less stressed about all the work you have to do and if you get lucky, you'll be back in the working mood.
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