6 Easy Tips To Avoid Procrastination

Studying has never been easy, but in today’s world of Internet, social networking and smart phones, it is easier than ever for students to get distracted and procrastinate. Most students, even older students, have trouble keeping their minds on the task at hand. So today, I present 6 simple tips to avoid procrastination.

1. Get the worst out of the way

Procrastination is a common way of putting off something difficult or stressful. Encourage your child to avoid this by getting the worst task out of the way first. It is always better to get the hard work done as soon as possible; otherwise, your child will be worrying about it all day anyway.

 

2. Preparation is the Key

If students are not prepared for the task at hand, it is very easy to get distracted. How often have you heard phrases such as “I can’t write my essay now, I left my book at school,” or “I can’t work now, I need to get something to eat and grab a pen that works.” Encourage your child to make sure they are 100% prepared before they start working. They should have all the resources that they need in front of them so that they don’t have to stop working for any unnecessary reasons.

 

3. Set an achievable goal

The key to avoiding procrastination is knowing what needs to be done, and when it’s OK to call it quits. For this reason, it is vital that your child sets goals before they sit down to work. Instead of just “working on my essay”, they should plan to “finish a good copy of the first 3 paragraphs of my essay.” The more specific and achievable the goal is, the less likely it is that they will give up early and get distracted.

 

4. Allow for breaks

Students are not machines; they can not work all day and all night. It is important to take a small break at least every hour or so to eat, drink, relax, exercise or get some fresh air. Without this valuable leisure time, the mind grows weary and is much more easily distracted. Interestingly enough, a small break can often save time in the long run.

 

5. Share goals

The more that students share their goals with their family and friends, the less likely it is that they will give up on those goals. Students who share what they are doing and what they are working on are more likely to be motivated and encouraged to work hard, because they know that other people are paying attention. For this reason, it is a good idea to be interested in your child’s work; ask them what they are doing, and what they hope to achieve.

 

6. Do something!

The hardest part of starting a large assignment is getting started. There is nothing more intimidating than a blank page. Often students get anxious about starting an assignment, because they want everything they write to be perfect. This can lead to students avoiding the work altogether. The best way to start a large task is just to accept that the first draft will not be perfect and write, write, write. Even if it’s bad, it can be improved upon later.

 

Those are my tips.

How do you avoid procrastination?

If you have any suggestions, personal stories or some questions, feel free to let us know!

5 Things You Can Do TODAY to Improve Your Child’s Study Habits

Achieving success in education is not just about hard work; it’s about organisation and good practices. Throughout our years of helping students achieve success, we have come to see that good students don’t just work hard; they work efficiently and in a well-organised manner.

A lot of students come to us looking for help with their schoolwork. Often, the first thing we do is to make sure that they are using their time, resources, and space correctly. If students aren’t managing their time effectively, or organising their work in a productive way, then no amount of hard work or last minute cramming will be of much help.

So, today, I thought I’d give you a list of 5 things you can do TODAY to ensure that your child is ready to be successful in their study.

1. Organise a Working Space

Let me put this simply: even the most intelligent student cannot work effectively on the couch, in bed, in front of the television, or at the breakfast table. Students need a dedicated space for homework and study, such as a desk or a table. This space should be quiet, free from distractions, and have all the resources (books, pens, paper) that your child needs to complete the work.

2. Make Sure They Are Using a Calendar or Diary

One of the most common problems we observe is when students lose track of what work they have to do, and when it is due. There is nothing more embarrassing than arriving at school to find out that you have forgotten an assignment, or more stressful than realising that you have to write a whole essay in one night. For this reason, it is important to make sure your child is using a calendar or a diary to keep track of upcoming work. Using a diary effectively is a fantastic skill that, if developed early, will help them throughout high school, VCE, University, and for the rest of their lives.

3. Help Them Create a Study Timetable

When it comes to study, consistency is the key. When I was at high school, I developed a study timetable for myself to ensure that I was doing enough work for each subject each day. On Friday nights, for example, my timetable would look like this.

4:00-4:30: Get home, have a snack, get changed.

4:30-5:00: Read novel for English

5:00-6:00: Complete maths homework for Monday

6:00-6:30: Have a break, watch Television

6:30-7:00: Revise notes for Psychology

It is important that such a timetable is realistic. Students should allow time for breaks and relaxation. If the schedule is too unachievable, it will ultimately be ignored. By breaking up the huge amount of work into smaller, more manageable tasks throughout the week, it is less likely that students will feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do.

4. Help Them Organise Their Notes

This is a simple one, but an important one. Your child should have a book and a folder for each of their subjects. In their folder, they should keep all the notes, handouts and assignments that are relevant for that subject. Your child should make sure they take the right book and folder to each class. Without a good organisation system, important information will get lost: important notes may be written in the wrong book, assignment sheets may go missing, or students may not bring their homework to the right class. By making sure your child has a good system of organising their notes in place, you will save them a lot of stress.

5. Set Goals

This is one of the most important things you can do with your child on a regular basis: discuss their goals. Obviously, you have goals for your child: you want them to get good marks, win a scholarship to a selective school, get a high ATAR score, and get into a good course in University. You should discuss your child’s goals with them and figure out what goals you share, and how you can work towards them. Here are a few tips that will help with setting goals.

1Goals should be small and achievable. Larger goals (getting a good ATAR score) should be broken down into smaller ones (getting a good score on the next SAC).

2You should have a plan for achieving the goal. Encourage your child to plan what they have to do in order to succeed. Make sure they follow through on their plans.

3You should reflect on the success of the goal setting process. Was the goal achieved? Why/Why not? What can your child do to be more successful next time?

4. Success should be recognised. If your child sets a goal and achieves it, make sure you recognise their hard work. They will definitely appreciate it.

Hopefully, I have given you a lot to think about for today. It is important to consider these things as early as possible, so the rest of the year will be successful and productive for you your child. If you have any problems or questions about your child’s performance, study habits, or anything else, feel free to call or email us. We’re here to help!