So I meant to write this letter

Sometimes it is hard to focus…

Our elder shares a few tips and tricks for getting back on track.

Dear EWC:

Don’t we all have a day when we just feel plain lazy? I’ve been having lots of those but I can’t afford them! I have a big exam at the end of the year and I’ve lots to study! But these days I just sit at a study table and daydream without even realizing it, or else I have a pile of homework but I don’t even want to begin because I’m just lazy.d I think I make up a lot of reasons like “I’m too tired or sleepy” or I’ll do them tomorrow” which means obviously, I never get stuff done….

I’ve been removing a lot of distracting things like mobile phones and trying to focus but it’s not really working.I really do want to study and make myself proud because all these years I’ve been slacking off, but how? Does sitting with a best friend distract you? I’m going to sit with her, but I’m afraid my grades will flop even more…

Sonora replies:

I think it’s human nature to want to procrastinate and the reasons for doing so are probably as varied as the people who do it. Sometimes I think it is because people either feel they work better under pressure or just cannot make themselves do a task unless the pressure is turned up. These aren’t really very good reasons; more like excuses if you ask me. I can certainly relate, because I am among those who procrastinate. I can find a million and one excuses to put off any task. I was going to write this letter yesterday but… Just kidding ( I just now got it).

It just comes down to discipline and that takes some work. I imagine people find their own little tips and tricks to dive right into a task rather than put it off. And the truth of the matter is, it feels so good once you have these things done and out of the way, rather than having them gnawing at you and hanging over your head. Think of how bad you might feel if you don’t study and fail your exam.

Here is a little trick or game I play with myself. There might be something I want, like a new book or some chocolate or maybe to (as you say) sit with a best friend. And, FYI, yes sitting with your friend will distract you, so save that until your work is done.

Here is what I do: I use the thing I want as a reward for completing a task. If it is something hard or complex I might break it into steps and reward myself for each step. I know it might sound silly or simplistic but, for me, it works. Give it a try or maybe something similar and see if that works for you to help you learn how to be more disciplined. You already tried removing your mobile phone. That could be used as a reward for time spent studying. Don’t try to do it all at once. For example set a time limit (like say study for an hour) then grab your phone and play for 15 minutes before getting back to the books.

Another thing I have learned is that the longer you put something off the harder it will seem (in your mind) and the less you want to begin. Then when you actually sit down and dig in you realize it takes much less energy and is not nearly as difficult to do it than it did to worry about it in the first place, and so much simpler than your mind had built it up to be. Also keep in mind is that at some point you will be out of school and in the working world where putting things off might have much more dire consequences, so the sooner you can teach yourself how to be disciplined and get things done the better off you will be.

I hope that I’ve been helpful. Now go study and ace that test! Good luck to you and let me know how you do.

Letter #: 349042
Category: School

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