Overcoming Procrastination

Everyone procrastinates to one degree or another: Why? Lack of interest…rebellion…fear of being evaluated…uncertainty about the assignment…perfectionism…fear of unknown…not yet ready for the task…don’t know how to begin…false sense of security and optimism (I have plenty of time)… Simple Procrastination: Task feels too difficult, or we don’t know where or how to get started Task feels time consuming and requires large blocks of time (You don’t have that) Lack of perceived knowledge or skills Fear of being evaluated by self or others Complex Procrastination: Perfectionism; This assignment will take volumes of energy (that I don’t have) Anger/Hostility Low frustration tolerance Self-Doubt/Self-Confidence So, what to do? Honestly evaluate the reasons for your procrastination. Expose those intentional reasons for avoiding work. Once you name them, you can see them from a different perspective. Are the reasons rational or irrational? Gain an understanding of what is required (time/energy) to complete the task on time. Challenge thoughts that take you away from the task at hand (these are stalling tactics). Devote energy only to moving forward. Make a choice by deciding (reasonably and honestly) exactly what you are willing (and unwilling) to do in this moment. Find an optimal return on your time/energy investment. What will this look like? Begin anywhere. Start with what interests you. Ask questions (professor, classmate, tutor, peer mentor) to gain more understanding. Work for 5 minutes only…You may find you take it further. Celebrate the time spent. Spend no more than 20 minutes learning new material (See “35 minute study strategy”) Distribute – A little, every day. Develop a Growth Mindset. Remember your past successes. Seek counseling or...

Academic Coaching to learn the most in the least amount of time

What the Best Students Do Learning is much more than simply memorizing facts and spitting them back out on a multiple choice or short answer exam. In fact, students whose main goal is to simply get through the assignment, miss out on the joy of learning that particular subject, and decrease their passion for learning in general. We start our work with students by examining the areas that they are already “experts” in. These topics range from sports, to video games, to technological puzzles, the arts, music, television show characters, etc…The list is virtually endless, and everyone is an expert in something! By tying together the attitudes and behaviors that lead to deep learning, we begin to examine the concepts of best practices in learning and memory storage. We call this step; “Moving to Greatness.” From here we support our students to maximize their learning in the shortest period of time by utilizing empirically based strategies for moving new knowledge into long-term memory. These steps are short in duration, thus enabling our students to self-regulate their actions, leading to more success and more confidence. Finally, we follow our student’s lead in determining what subject areas, and pieces of knowledge, that resonate most deeply for them, and then challenge them to make connections and expand their horizons! Once accomplished, all learning is FUN, and...

Academic Coaching Strategies for Exams

Plan your review strategy, and study schedule, well in advance. Assuming you do this, your exam review strategy might look like this: 1. Overview your strong points, and areas where there are knowledge gaps. Accept that it is never possible to know everything. Think more about how to make use of what you do know. 2. Rehearse. Assuming you have reviewed material throughout the trimester (the sooner, and more frequent, the better) you can begin to study for your exam by reviewing again. Then space out additional review periods further and further apart. The more often you rehearse, the better it will withstand the test of time. 3. Be efficient – The best review session is one which leads you to remember the most after spending the least possible amount of time. So; Review as soon as possible following your initial learning. Study this again one day later…two day’s later… Study a third time one week later. Study a fourth time two weeks later… one month later (just in time for exams). This does not have to take a lot of time. Why does this work? You forget more slowly, and remember longer, after each review. Also, your brain processes information when it is slightly confused, or is on the verge of forgetting. In time, you will know how this process works for you and adapt the time period between reviews. If you find you do not remember enough, start your review sooner. If you remember too much (remember, you want the brain to be challenged) you can review later (ex. 2 days instead of one). As soon as...