A True Procrastinator’s Study and Productivity Tips for Exam Season

So, I’m going to be honest right from the start. As a college freshman, I’ve learned where my strong suits lie when it comes to exams, and school in general. I know that I procrastinate, I tend to cram a lot of my studying in and I thrive on the stress that comes with doing things a little bit last minute. But I always get it done and when the work needs to be quality, it’s usually quality. With that being said, I am also super self-motivated, which is very important when it comes to following the advice down below. 

If you relate to any of these traits, then these tips might be helpful. 

First off, I just want to say that I don’t think procrastination is necessarily a bad thing. But you have to learn how to manage it in a way that when you finish the assignment, you can still be proud of the work you’ve done or are confident in the knowledge you possess for the test. 

When I know I have an exam that covers a lot of material or a project that isn’t due for over a week, I won’t start working on it until it is absolutely necessary. But I have created a system of sorts that helps me overcome this.

If it’s an exam that covers ten chapters, I make a plan and design a schedule for the days leading up to the test, where I believe I can comfortably digest that amount of material and be quite sure of my ability to take it. Whether that be one or two chapters a day, or half a chapter a day, I will schedule the needed amount of days that lead to the exam to do what I need to do. The same goes for a long-term project. Design a schedule of what needs to get done, figure out how many days it will take, and then I leave it until those days arrive, to do it. 

student carrying books and backpack Photo by Element5 Digital from Unsplash

In my personal opinion, always leave an extra day or two for any possible issues that may come up but this really works for me, because if I have too much time for something, I know I won’t put effort into it because I will always be able to fix it later. However, by leaving a smaller period of time, there isn’t too much room for slacking, so the quality has to be there.

If you are a super last-minute person, I feel this system could be helpful if you have the discipline to follow it, which is more of a personal matter. If you’re just looking for some helpful studying and productivity advice, I do have some additional quick tips that apply to anyone!

1. I love using apps like Flora or Forest to force me to stay off my phone. Usually accompanied by some coffee town jazz music, this helps me stay focused on what I’m working on because if you use your phone, your tree dies. And that’s a form of failing I don’t like to invite in my life.

2. Write a to-do list the night before, whether that be on Google keep or in your planner, so that way when you wake up, you already know what the priorities are.

3. Figure out when and where you get your best work done. I know that my best school work is done in the morning, coffee right next to me. So, when I have a good amount on my to-do list, I make sure to leave myself plenty of free time in the morning to get it done. 

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