Planning your work (aka the art of procrastination)

Nina Heidelmann

Faculty: Medical Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Applied Nutritional Science
Category: Sciences nutritional and pharmaceutical

29 November 2016

Today I want to talk about procrastination (we all do this…I should be writing assignments right now!) but it is so much trouble. Especially in first year, when you are used to the speed and guidance of school or even took time off like me. So hopefully this will help some of you out there and avoid lots of drama or the typical ‘Missing a lecture to do work for a lecture’, as that is just not the right way.

The first few weeks at uni most of us seemed to be in some sort of dream state. Going in for three days a week and just a few hours each day meant enough time to nap and relax after ‘hard’ work. But then suddenly I was behind in writing notes and the first formative assessments were waiting to be handed in. Some people swear that they work best under pressure, but trying to write something up in the night beforehand is never going to be good quality.

Take formative assessments seriously, as they are your chance to get feedback and a feel for what is required of you! To me, planning out when you want to be finished with assignments is perfect. Avoid planning every single minute as that increases stress, but do set yourself a goal, and then treat yourself for reaching it! Lecture notes, are to me, easily written in the evening, or use a break you have between lectures and have your lunch while catching up on them (more time for Netflix in the evenings!). Make sure you write as little or much as you personally need, and try not to compare your notes to someone else’s. You have to be able to go back to them in a year’s time or at the end of a semester. If you like highlighting things and using different colours, then take your time to do so. Or, if you are like me and do not have any patience for pretty stuff, then write it in your quick, messy handwriting: as long as you can read it (especially bad for lab reports if you are unable to read your own numbers). Just try to stay on top of things. My personal way of working is doing a bit every day. It does not have to be a lot, but work constantly on it so you have little chunks and enough concentration.

The most important point really is: study in the way that works for you. If you love the last-minute pressure and you produce your best work like that, go on. But do not feel pressurised by your friend’s work. They might work in a totally different style so just focus on yourself and doing your best.
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