Tag Archives: planning

4 Simple Steps to Beat Procrastination


Motivation done right lets you motor through your to-do list like magic. Try this simple trick from London-based writer, Sidin Vadukut. Pair each chore on your daily to-do list with a short, sweet reward.

You are using a to-do list and a calendar to make short work of your academic tasks, aren’t you? Paper works great, but I’ve recently been playing with Wunderlist 2 and have been pleasantly surprised.

Here’s how it works…

  1. On your to do list add a fun to-do after each and every task.
  2. Assign your tasks (the fun ones and the less fun ones) a time to complete. That will keep you from letting things drag out or from over-scheduling yourself.
  3. Keep your fun to work ratio at about 1:10. For example, if I spend forty-five minutes studying my Econ homework, I might then allow myself five minutes of Smarter Every Day.
  4. Bask in the glory of a fully checked off to-do list.

Let us know your favorite rewards in the comments!

Read Sidin’s full article on fighting procrastination here.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Avoid Cramming by Scheduling Your Semester Now


You could just take those syllabi professors are passing out like popcorn this time of year and shove them deep into the bowels of your backpack, forgetting about them until necessity forces you to resurrect them from their linty tomb. But that’s a surefire recipe for cramming, all-nighters, and mediocre grades.

Instead, go over each syllabus with an eye towards due dates. Add major events to your semester calendar and then break each assignment/project/major-exam-prep into hour-sized chunks. Now schedule the chunks on that same calendar.

You’ll quickly see which weeks turn it to eye-popping, caffeine-fueled, study-thons. Sweeeet. So easy now to reschedule and lighten the load. You’ll be panic-free and well rested come finals time.

[hidepost]But don’t stop there. Add any other major events to your calendar. Parties, mud-football clobber fests, major shopping extravaganzas, protest marches, Mom’s birthday–you can even put down something on the calendar the week BEFORE Mummie’s Bday–so you’ll have time to actually buy her something special and get it to her by her birthday. CAUTION: Not advisable if your mum has a pre-existing heart condition. The shock might be too much!

Every day, pull out the old semester calendar and update it. Are there new events to add? Do you need to reschedule something?

Quickly scribble tomorrow’s events on a piece of paper and schedule them. For example…

Research “Porcine Alopecia” in Library – 1:30 to 2:30p
Take notes on Chapter 7 of Otoliths and You – 4:20 to 5:00p

Giving each task a time will provide structure and prevent putting-it-off-itis. Fold piece of paper in two and place in pocket. Reference throughout the day.

Now just stick to the plan day-by-day and wait gleefully for finals. The week before finals, gloat and hit the sack early whilst your cronies desperately guzzle double espressos in a bid to get-it-all-done.[/hidepost]

Foolproof way to avoid having too much work to do


Are you overwhelmed with way to much work/study during finals?  Ever waited too late to start a big project?  Have a week in which there just isn’t enough time to do everything you need to do?

All of these can be fixed by properly using a very simple tool.  The humble calendar.  When used regularly and well, it prevents you from ever ending up with too much work and not enough week.

The perfect calendar?  First and foremost, the perfect calendar is one you will actually use!  It doesn’t matter how fancy, detailed, attractive, or expensive a calendar or day timer is, if you don’t have it when you need it, it’s no good!

I personally go for cheap but effective.  At the beginning of each semester, I print out a calendar from a site such as this one, and fill it out for the coming semester.  I usually punch holes in it, put it in my binder or a left over folder.  Then I use it!


  1. Exam and project due dates from your course syllabi as you get them
  2. Holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and Festivus
  3. Special events, such as the Spring Formal or Dead Week
  4. Anything that will take extra time, like crunch week at the place where you work, or that one week in April when three of your immediate family members have a birthday.  Nothing should catch you by surprise.

Then I make sure to check it and update it once a day at least!  I have to put it somewhere where I can’t avoid it, like over my computer keyboard are on the mirror above my bathroom sink.

I don’t, however, carry the calendar around with me.  That’s where my daily to-do list comes in.  More on that later.

What’s the Best Way to Study When I Have Several Tests In The Same Week?


Mid-terms and finals are the bane of most college students’ existence.  One final exam would be bad enough, but at the end of the semester we often have to take two or three exams in a single day!  It’s enough to make even the most studious among us pine for the life of a beach bum.

If you find yourself in this unenviable position, here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best of a bad situation.

Continue reading What’s the Best Way to Study When I Have Several Tests In The Same Week?