Tips for Getting Schoolwork or Writing Done
Basic Principles of Efficacy
This is adapted from work by Dr. Robert Boice, PhD. The principles are his (word for word except the word "writing" in #5 is replaced with "actual work". The explanations are in my own words. The principles are based on controlled studies - not just his opinion.
1. Wait. Do exercises to calm down and focus.
2. Begin before feeling ready. This helps you to develop systematic ways of finding imagination and confidence.
3. Work in brief, daily sessions. Be very consistent in this; make it a habit.
4. Stop. This is often the must difficult principle to put into practice. You have to learn to stop in the middle of things so you don't exhaust yourself. Use a timer or ask a friend to remind you it's time to stop.
5. Balance preliminaries with actual work. Schedule prep time as well as actual work time. For example, if you're writing a paper or article, schedule time for outlining or other preparation steps as well as writing time, and make sure that you devote time to both.
6. Supplant self-defeating thinking and habits. Monitor self-talk. If you're putting yourself down, stop it. Tell yourself that you can do this.
7. Manage emotions. Don't let yourself get too hyper while you're working. It's okay to feel excited about something you're writing or reading once in a while, but don't let yourself get so hyper that you start rushing through things.
8. Moderate attachments and reactions. This applies mainly to when you're writing papers or articles. Don't get so attached to your early drafts that you resist revision. Don't freak out if you get negative feedback.
9. Let others, even critics, do some of the work. This applies more to people in work situations than in school. Delegate and collaborate where you can.
10. Limit wasted effort. Monitor your work habits for inefficiencies - for example, spending a lot of time on something that's not that important.
Some Helpful Quotes
"Most jobs need completion, not perfection." -Unknown
"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone... The wisdom of life consists in the eliminatin of nonessentials." -Lin Yutang, Chinese writer and educator