We all have days when we just don’t feel like studying, but if you fall into a cycle of putting it off, there isn’t much hope of recovering.
Let’s face it, studying and preparing for exams isn’t the most enjoyable activity. The work can sometimes become very difficult, we may struggle with certain topics or maybe we just don’t feel like studying. It happens to the best of us. However, putting that “I don’t feel like studying” feelings constantly above our goals, can jeopardise our futures.
Procrastination is a choice. You have to choose every day to put in the effort, regardless if you feel like it or not. “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” – Hunter S. Thompson
The problem is you think you have time.
We usually overestimate the time we have left to study and underestimate the amount of time a task will take to complete. For that very reason it is important to start studying right away. Don’t put studying, or any other task off simply because you think you still have plenty of time left. There might be an unexpected assignment that comes up, or a family crises, or you might even get a cold, and then you would wish you had started earlier.
Sometimes we can get very caught up in planning and approaching a study session, instead of just starting. You don’t have to feel ready to begin, just begin. Arthur Ash said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
If you battle with procrastination because it seems as if there is a mountain of work before you, do anything – no matter how small. You don’t have to be able to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. Tell yourself that you are just going to read through four pages of your studying work and chances are you’ll end up doing more because you are already busy. If by chance you don’t feel like doing more than those four pages, at least you did four more pages than you had done before.
Remind yourself why it is important to you.
It’s easy to lose track of our goals when we don’t feel motivated to study. It’s even easier to give up on our dreams when we don’t make the effort to remember them. That’s why you need to go through your goals again and if you have never written down your goals yet, now is the perfect time. Write down your goals anew. Paste this paper with your goals where your study desk is and read through it a couple of times.
Imagine how good it is going to feel when you achieve those goals. Remind yourself that all the hard work you put in will pay off and you will achieve your dreams.
Don’t wait for inspiration to come.
There’s a beautiful quote by Paulo Coelho that says, “If you only walk on sunny days you’ll never reach your destination.” This means if we only put in effort on the days that it is easy and when it goes well, then we won’t ever achieve our goals because not all days are going to be perfect and easy. You don’t have to feel inspired to study every day. The greatest minds in the world have gone through tough days to reach their dreams. Don’t become discouraged just because some days are harder than others.
Procrastination might feel good for a couple of hours, but nothing will ever feel as good as achieving your goals. You have the discipline, self-control and strength to steer your ship in the right direction. Don’t put off what can be done today.