By: Maria Kuznetsov, DiY/Guides Staff Writer
A set of general tips to kick off the new semester!
- Find out why your mind wanders. If you are hungry, eat a snack. If you have check, set an alarm. If you have something to do and it’ll take less than 5 minutes, go do it. Otherwise, write it into your schedule. If you’re tired, drink some caffeine right before a 20 minute nap in order to be alert right as you wake.
- Make a list: a pile of papers is no use if you don’t know where to start. It may help to write steps such as find ID – find book in catalog – go to library – start research.
- Don’t use list-making as an excuse to procrastinate. Give yourself 2 minutes to write a to-do list. Mentally start with your first class of the day and go through all your classes so there’s no 3 am calls to classmates to know the homework.
- Work tends to take up all the time allotted, so estimate how long each assignment will take you. Write the time near the assignment.
- Decide how to start: harder or easier assignments first, or any other order. If you know you’ll need a tutor or someone to help, look at the tutor schedule, or find someone and set up a time.
- Break down large tasks into small chunks. Start papers with an outline or brainstorm and continue writing them all at once or in paragraph by paragraph.
- Turn down the music or find something else. Studies show that humans are worse at multitasking when hearing voices. You won’t retain as much information studying if “Rise Against” is playing in the background. Try some ambient music, which is specifically created to be background music, such as Ambient 1/Music for Airports by Brian Eno.
- Find some motivation: tell all your friends that this is going to be the best essay they have ever read, so if you start socializing, they’ll scold you.
Baumeitser, Roy F. and John Tierney. “Harness the Power of Your Inner Nag.” Mental_floss Feb. 2013 : 55-6. Print.