Managing examination stress

Managing Examination Stress

Today’s world is full of challenges and each one of us has to face the stress and strain of competition and exams. Coupled with this is the stress of living up to the expectations of our parents, being successful with our friends, and being successful with our academics…student life is probably more difficult than at any time before. There are so many pressures- study, time, money, relationships, job hopes and more. Our previous experience and education do not always equip us to face these issues.

“Managing Examination Stress” is for you. Are you facing stress on how to cope with your exams? Do you want tips on how to prepare for your exams? How to cope with the ever present stress factor in your life? Try our booklet, it has been specially designed keeping in mine the life of an average teenager. The examples cited in the booklet are of youngster’s having similar background as yours, which will help you identify with the person and the problem.

Now, what is this all about?

It’s about things that happen to you when it’s exam time.

Oh, that time! The time when there is nothing funny in the world anymore. Nobody has enough time, enough notes, enough energy, enough sleep, and enough hysteria. Nothing anyone says makes any sense.

How about the word “stress”?

Oh yeah, that one. The one that tells you about why you’re tired, hungry, angry and can’t sleep and what you should have done and when you should have done it. Like not swooned over Leonardo di Caprio, seen Titanic six times and done your Biology project instead Or those telephone calls that you should have stopped at eight each night but went on till eleven. Or the silly advertisement with Karishma Kapoor that you had to watch every 15 minutes even though there was a Physics practical the next morning.

 

Okay, so what about time management?

That’s the same thing in different words.
Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but are you going to read this booklet?
What’s it about?
It’s about you. It‘s about people like you. It’s about the secret skills of exam success.
What can you show me that I don’t already know about all that?
Well, you’ll have to look, won’t you?

A FINE BALANCE

 

The most annoying things about examinations is that you have to do them so often. Another is that they refuse to go away. They linger in the form of exercises, tests, assignments, assessments (some English teacher must have looked up every single synonym she/he could find) and you never seem to get rid of them. Like a bad cold. Common, too.

 

We all know what the aims of exams are. They are supposed to show who has studied and who has not. This statement works in general – the people who pass have studied, and the people who failed have not. Of course, there is always an exception to the rule. There is always somebody who studied hard but failed, or the person who hardly studied but got a very high percentage. Someone who tipped the balance by fortune or unfortunate accident.

 

Sometimes people do not do as well as they could because they are not well prepared to handle the pre-examination anxieties or they did not understand what the examiners were asking for, or they were so nervous that they could not remember what they had studied.

 

Experiencing anxiety before and during an exam is a normal and expected part of student life. Anyone with significant test anxiety will know that too much anxiety can sabotage your performance. Students with test anxiety often report difficulties with concentration and mental blocks, despite hours of exam preparation. Bad exam experiences often compound the problem. Once the student has a “block” experience from anxiety during a test, s/he is likely to approach the next exam with even more anxiety. The presence of greater anxiety increases the chances of the student having examination anxiety occurring again. Once a test anxiety occurs, it becomes a vicious cycle derailing satisfactory academic performance and grades despite the student’s best efforts, ability and motivation.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

 

It is difficult to accept that there can be a condition of no anxiety before exams, but have you ever identified your own level of anxiety?

  1. Are you anxious and nervous at various times before and / or during exams? Is this a regular pattern?

     

  2. Do your worries suddenly seem to appear whenever something reminds you about an exam?

 

  • About three months before exams.

     

  • The week preceding exams.

     

  • At the start of exams.

     

  • During the exam.

     

  • After the exam.

 

If worrying about exams is your weakness, you will probably have strong reactions at more than one of these times.

 

How Do You Rate Yourself Here?

 

Physical Symptoms

 

SCALE: 1 – 10

 

Inadequate sleep

Lack of Appetite / Nausea

Head and Body ache

Craving for stimulants

Dizziness, Muscular tension

Hyperventilation

TOTAL SCORE

 

Nobody needs to explain your scores to you here. You are the one who can judge yourself the best and possibly the most accurately.

 

What you have so far discovered in yourself is the way your body responds to exam pressure. What do you think about at that time?

  • Preoccupation with exams even though the exam may be ages away.

     

  • Some of the thoughts are uncomfortable ones and may contain self-critical ideas, running yourself down and comparing yourself unfavourably with other students.

     

  • There may also be some memory loss.

 

How do you find yourself acting?

  • You may find yourself tending to block out the subject of exams – you tend to turn off whenever the subject is mentioned.

     

  • You may be easily distracted with very short spans of concentration. You may tend to find yourself forgetting easily.

     

  • One key factor is that your normal functioning at study tasks become lessened. A drop of a quarter of your normal efficiency is indicative of exam stress.

 

 

Effect of interaction with others:

Other people can also contribute to your exam stress. You may find yourself withdrawing, unable to talk to people as much as usual. You may find a lot of people giving you tips on how to prepare for exams, you may get frightened of what people may say about exams. You may have people constantly reminding you of the impending exam.

And what do you feel?

The explanations about this type of worry are very varied. This worry moves from simple worry to definite anxiety. Signs of excessive stress can include:

  1. Inability to concentrate; headaches
  2. Abnormal eating habits
  3. Unusually cold hands and feet
  4. Irritability, argumentative, increased aggression
  5. Loss of sense of humor, “out of proportion” reactions
  6. Tightness in chest; pounding heart, breathing difficulties.

So this booklet is about stress after all, but you have identified your own stress level.

Stress is a reality in life, and always has been. It impedes achievement and can be life threatening when it becomes excessive or chronic. In August 20, 1998, a team of researchers have come up with an explanation for some thing many test takers already know: “MEMORY CAN FAIL UNDER PRESSURE’ These scientists suggest that people should relax before taking tests or performing other activities dependent on memory. Stress hormones flood a person’s system and later cloud recollection.

So, how do you reduce stress?

You need to work out a strategy that serves you well. This is a strategy that suits some people

First, each student needs to assess his/her study skills and exam preparation methods. Using inappropriate learning and study strategies increase anxiety.

It sounds obvious, but start with regular class preparation. Trying to cram in six weeks worth of reading assignments all night before an exam is largely useless. You will end up exhausted, unable to think clearly, and you will probably not have covered all the material anyway.

Research has shown that students learn best when they have shorter, but more frequent study periods, distributed over a longer period of time. It is also much easier to find the motivation to study for an hour than to do so when one feels pressured to sit for three to four hours at a time.

When the exam is announced, you have some questions to get cleared first:

  1. What is the syllabus or scope of the examination?
  2. What kind of examination will it be: objective, short essay, long essay, or a combination of all?

There are several kinds of examinations and your teacher will know well ahead of time what types of questions will be asked.

Choose a method of preparation, which suits the type of examination you will be writing.

For problem solving

  • Go through past homework assignments, lecture notes and your textbook. Then,
  • Copy out problems
  • Mix them ups
  • Solve as many problems as you can
  • Check your answers
  • For any you do not answer correctly, try to find similar problems and keep working on them.

For short answers

  • Make a list of important terms
  • Write down the definition of each term as it was used in the course
  • Think of examples or illustrations of each term
  • Figure out the term or the concept’s relevance to the course
  • Be sure to write enough (questions are usually 4-5 marks; figure on getting 1 or 2 marks for each significant point you make)
  • Think MACRO – relate the terms to the general ideas presented in the course.
  • Think MICRO – support your answer with examples.

For essay questions

  • Review old essay type answers and assignments. Then select a number of topics that are central to the course, then,
  • Write essay answers containing to the subject and main points.
  • Write as many essay for each of these, giving yourself only as much time for each as

you will have on the exam itself.

  • Look over your trial essays, paying attention to areas that could be improved
  • Most essays are graded on information organisation and style.
  • Once you have decided on one question, don’t change your mind.
  • Write a strong introductory paragraph which contains your subject and 3 or 4 main

points listed in the order in which you are going to write them.

· Start writing, the more you write the better; include as many specific references

(names, dated, direct quotations) as possible.

If there are more than one essay type question on the exam, leave a couple of pages

after each so that you can add more if you have time.

For objective tests

  • Study concepts and examples, as well as facts.
  • Study your texts and notes by actively looking for the kind of material that can be answered objectively (dates, names, precise details)
  • Get old copies of multiple choice exams. Look for patterns in questions and answers

through out certain disciplines.

  • Always choose the “best” answer; this is often the answer that uses a word or phrase specific to the course or discipline.
  • When in doubt, guess (unless there is a penalty for the wrong answer).

Exam study

  • Prepare summary sheets for large amounts of lecture and textbook notes.
  • Review final notes.
  • Stress the following areas in your review: Points emphasised inn class or in text.
  • Look at areas the teacher has advised for study.
  • Look at the questions in the study guide and the reviews at the end of textbook.

The next thing you need to do is work on areas that could be as important as the examination itself.

1. ATTITUDE

Before you start studying it is important to have a positive attitude. The most important question in managing your stress is “who is in control of your learning?” You have to see yourself in control – which, let’s face it, you really are and so you need to take active steps to make sure that you are learning effectively. Try eliminating the words “I can’t do it” from your vocabulary and see what happens, look for ways that you might be able to do something about it.

Gloomy thoughts don’t help your stress levels either. The more you concentrate on how bad things are, the worse they will seem and the more your stress levels grow. It is a vicious circle. Each time something bad happens, deliberately look for a positive benefit or side – effect which might be a result. This might be childish when you first start, but it has a very definite effect.

2. VISUALIZING SUCCESS

It has been a very predominant practice amongst sports persons to spend most of their time mentally envisaging themselves doing things right, and this has yielded positive results. Ironically, for exams we do the opposite! Students spend most of their time visualizing failure instead of success. They feel they don’t know enough, they imagine going into the examination hall and not knowing about how little they know. All of which is terribly destructive.

There are 5 golden rules to success.

a. REGULAR AND CONSISTENT STUDY: There is no substitute for hard work. Success is 90% perspiration and 1% inspiration. The motivation must come from within: I can, I will, I must. Set aside regular hours for going over what was taught to you that day. Cash in on weekends, public holidays and vacation time for revision.

b. CONTENT MASTERY IS A MUST: Master the core concepts in each content-based subject. Master the fundamental operations in subjects like Maths and aim at understanding and not just learning by heart.

c. TIME & TASK MANAGEMENT ARE ESSENTIAL: Have all your notes and study material in order. Plan how you will spend your time and frame a timetable for each day. Concentrate on the subjects you are weak in or dislike, do not concentrate only on certain subjects, at the expense of other equally important ones.

d. SOLVE PREVIOUS YEARS BOARD PAPERS IN WRITING: This helps to develop writing skills like speed, good hand-writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation. It also helps to make you aware of the kind of questions to expect.

e. SELECTIVE STUDY IS NOT FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO DO REALLY WELL!!:

A student who does chance or selective study, enters the examination hall under great stress. This has psychological consequences which affect speed, expression and clarity of thought and results in errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Where to Study?

Choose a place where there is reasonable quiet i.e. minimum disturbances, both inside and outside your home; adequate light (tube light gives the best light for studying) and a continuous supply of fresh, oxygenated air which helps the brain to concentrate and remember.

What do you need to Study?

You basically need a suitable worktable or desk and a comfortable chair, which gives support to your shoulders and back. Remember to occupy a comfortable posture, but avoid too comfortable a posture. Lying down while studying is not conducive to effective study. Also avoid piling all your books on your desk or table, it can be distracting. Only keep those books concerning the subject you are studying.

Diet and Dress also Affect Studying

Avoid a heavy lunch if you wish to study in the afternoon and a heavy dinner if you wish to study at night, instead eat light, nutritious foods like sandwiches, fruits or fruit juices, green salads and vegetables or curds and dals. Drink plenty of water while studying. Avoid tight, ill-fitting clothing and use light, loose, comfortable clothes instead.

Adequate Sleep and Rest

Sleep for 6-7 hours at night. You need to have a good night’s sleep before papers that involve reasoning, thinking and the application of knowledge like Maths and Science. Sleep late on days when you have no exam.

When to Study

All students fall into one of two categories:

They are either early morning students or late night students. Whatever your preference, the mind requires a time when there is minimum disturbance and maximum quiet. The rule is: If you wake up early, you need to go to bed early. If you keep up late, you need to wake up late. But you cannot burn the candle at both ends. This can have serious consequences.

When you cannot concentrate or feel lethargic, then remember movement and oral work are the best antidotes. Get up, walk up and down and read or study aloud. Change the place of your studying, splash cold water on your eyes or better still have a quick shower and change into fresh clothes. Do something manual for a change. Above all you must take breaks between your studying. Use this time to have a quick snack or a cool drink, to watch some TV, browse through a magazine or just relax, but not for too long. The rule is to come back to your books as quickly as possible.

Time-wasters to be avoided are long telephone calls, TV watching, loitering around after school, college or tuition classes or attending parties, weddings and social functions.

Time Savers

Frame a written timetable for each day of study. Plan it the night before and review it at the end of each day. Vary the memory and skill subjects. Take memory subjects when you are fresh and skill subjects when you are tired. Fit in time for meals, rest, tuitions etc.

How to Study Effectively

Learning takes place through a cycle of learning, revising, repeating. Follow the SQ3R Method:

S – Survey the topic or chapter. Go through the text or your notes and be aware of the main points it covers.

Q – Go through the questions and ask yourself questions on the topic.

R – Read and understand the text and learn the matter

R – Revise what you have learnt within 1 to 2 hours of learning it for the first time (immediate recall)

R- Review or repeat the matter at increasing intervals (frequent recall).

Aids to Remembering: Writing is nine-tenths remembering. Study something especially difficult, just before you go to bed at night and revise it immediately after you wake up. Make a list of definitions, formulae, abbreviations etc. and give them up daily to someone as you do your tables. Use code words and mnemonics they help you to remember facts and to revise them quickly, just before your exams.

Here are a few examples of code words: Most students find it very difficult to remember the names of the Axis and Allied Powers who fought in World War I. Yet, two simple words like TAG (Turkey, Austria & Germany) and FER (France, England & Russia) make this very easy.

To remember the functions of the President of India, just remember the code word LEAF and the picture the President wearing a big, green leaf in his pocket, for his main functions are four – L – Legislative, E – Executive, A – Administrative and F – Financial. To remember his Financial Functions, just remember BMC (Bombay Municipal Corporation) B – He finalises the Budget, M – He decides if a Bill is a Money Bill and C – He determines Contingency Expenditure.

To recall the States where jute is obtained, remember the code word BOAT and picture a boat loaded with jute bags. Because jute is found in B – Bangladesh, O – Orissa, A – Assam and T – Tamilnadu.

The technique of forming code words involves underlying the key words, then taking the first letter of each keyword and putting all the letters together to form one word or grouping letters to make two or more words. Try to associate the code word with a mental picture. Remember the funnier the picture the easier it is to remember.

If you find you cannot from a sensible code word with the letters, perhaps because of the absence of vowels, try the Sentence Framing Technique. Frame a sentence with words beginning with each of these letters e.g. it is very easy to remember the names of the planets, in terms of their distance from the sun, by the sentence “My (Mercury) very (Venus) elegant (Earth) Mother (Mars) just (Jupiter) served (Saturn) us (Uranus) nine (Neptune) pies (Pluto)”.

Try associating the sentence with a picture too – it helps.

Other well-tested methods for improving memory are:

  • Repetition is the easiest and the most common way to put information into our memory. Keep reading and revising the chapter that seems difficult, so that you can even recite it in your sleep.
  • Use rhyming and / or rhythm techniques to help remember phrases.

For example: “thirty days hath September, April, June and November; all the rest

have 31 except February alone which has 28 days clear and 29 days each leap year”.

You could make up your own verses for other important rules.

  • To remember meanings of words: Look up a dictionary and then write the definition in your own words. Using familiar language helps understand better.

For example: “superfluous” according to Webster means, “exceeding what is sufficient

or necessary”. Your new definition could be something extra or unnecessary.

  • To remember words in another language try labelling things in your house or room with stickers that say the name of that object in the other language. For example: “le chien” means dog in French, put a “le chien” on your dog’s collar.

2. DISTRACTION

It is easy to get distracted while studying. Make a firm decision to settle down and study and stick to it. Don’t worry about how much you have to do (it happens looking at the mountain of course material in front of you). Don’t let your friends sweep you away to a movie or party. Those are short-term pleasures that will not help you at this time.

NOW, THE BACKUP

Old exam papers

Time and again it has been proved that looking at or going through old exam papers is one of the most effective ways of preparing for an exam. They enable you to become familiar with the format of the paper (the number of sections, number of questions, which questions are mandatory, which are often repeated…). It gives you a prelude to the way exam papers are worded and practice at writing proper answers. Sometimes it may even give you a clue as to what to revise, as some topics are tested every year.

Revision

Going through the past exam papers is one of the best ways of revising. Revision should be done well before exams. First you need to go through your notes and list the topics that need to be covered. You should divide these topics into two categories – topics of which you are confident about and those of which you are not. Your task is now to convert topics from the second column to the first.

Set realistic number of hours for revision each week. Plan to work through each topic in the period up to the exam. Set aside at least 4 weeks for the final revision. When you work through each topic make some brief notes, these will be useful in the final month of revision.

The worst way of revising is the “staring – at – your – notes – and – trying – to burn – them – into – your brain” method, simply because it leaves your mind free for a lot of distracting thoughts to pop up. It is much better to revise actively – summarising your notes, converting the information into flow – charts, diagrams, engaging in revision quizzes with your friends and so on. E.g. While studying the classification of animals, a flow chart is helpful. Learning about mitosis – cell division- can be remembered by drawing it. Best way to remember the laboratory preparation of oxygen is to write down the chemical reaction.

Try to discuss the topic with others with an open mind, you will get some unusual insights, which will help you focus on your revision with more interest. But if you have already decided that the topic is simply dull, then nobody will be able to change your mindset for you.

Make sure you have a revision timetable. Hopefully your notes are well – organized and neat. This will make the revision process much easier for you. Keep aside one day in a week to cover up the backlog if any. Otherwise, the timetable may go haywire.

This need not be you. You can avoid such a situation if you follow your own point programme. Here is a 12-point programme that some like to use.

  1. Try to get other anxieties out of the way before settling down to study. Avoid people who panic. It can be contagious!
  2. Prepare a timetable and start each study session on time. It is never too late to make a revision plan or timetable, and doing so will help you prioritise and feel more in control. But be realistic!
  3. Find a place for study in a quiet room, free from distractions and interruptions.
  4. Ensure good posture, sit comfortably, with your chair and table at good working height.
  5. Work in good light to avoid tired eyes.
  6. Be active rather than passive; make notes and read critically.
  7. Take frequent breaks of 5 – 10 minutes, longer ones as work goes on. As a minimum break, take a few deep breaths, stand, up flex your arms and walk about. Do take the breaks though, it is helpful. Most people can concentrate only for 45 minutes at a stretch.
  8. Don’t try to revise for too long in one day, especially as exams draw nearer, and try to avoid revising late at night.
  9. Try to get enough sleep – tiredness promotes anxiety. Spend some time relaxing (listen to music, catch on some light reading) before you got to bed.
  10. Avoid any form of drugs or caffeine, which in large doses, causes tension and anxiety. Remember caffeine occurs in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate. Drink plenty of water.
  11. Consider revising with friends – splitting responsibility for obtaining photocopies and making revision note can save a lot of time.
  12. Finally, try to master some quick relaxation exercises. They can reduce your overall anxiety level and help you cope with any anxious feelings.

YOU COULD THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS TOO

Studying is a full time job. It is important to keep up with the material throughout the year so that when the final examination approaches, it will be more like a comprehensive review than a monster memorizing session. Remember the Hare and the Tortoise story? Slow and steady wins the race.

Notes should be readable. Most lecturers and teachers have 1 – 5 main points to make in a classroom, and then they discuss the strengths and limitations of these points. Jot down the main points. You may be surprised. If you concentrate, you may even be able to hear your teacher explaining the concept while writing the examination!!

Get help when you think are stuck. Do it quickly! See your teacher, or establish a study group, talk it out slowly and aloud, or use a tutor, find another book, which explains the subject. Don’t wait to fail in the exam to get help. Pretend that you have to teach the subject to an eighth-standard student, this will help you understand the subject in your own pace at a much simpler language.

Allow large blocks of time for studying and short periods for review. Use the odd moments when you are taking a bath, or travelling, walking across your campus, for recall and review. Run through the information frequently, this will ensure that you remember it. Always vary what you study. Don’t study for two similar courses, it is better to break the pattern. For example, don’t study chemistry and then study physics, instead study Hindi, or English. The most important thing to remember is: respect your concentration. If you have not studied much through out the year, it may be difficult to study at a stretch for several hours. You are not superhuman. Starting your exam period with impossibly long study hours is likely to leave you exhausted before it is all over. Stick to your normal daily routine as much as possible. If you do not get off your routine and need extra time, avoid staying up all-night; go to bed at your regular time, to continue studying. You will be able to understand and remember more when you are rested than you would if you postpone rest.

Copy down your examination timetable correctly and also check the venue. You don’t want to turn up at the wrong time for your exam or at the right time but for the wrong exam.

NEARLY THERE!

You may want to look at some work the night before. This is fine read over notes, check some formulae, do basic revision but do not attempt to learn anything new. You will only make yourself nervous. It is much better to concentrate upon what you do know. Spend your last hours studying selectively. Your ability to deal with concepts and synthesize material is greatly reduced, even your ability to memorize is impaired by marked anxiety.

Be realistic about what you can accomplish: set priorities based on what you expect to be emphasised in the test. Have everything ready Paper, pencils, ruler, handkerchief, watch, anything you think you might need. Make sure this is organized the night before. Don’t work too late – have a fairly early night, and get plenty of rest. Don’t expect to have your most restful night’s sleep ever – you will be in a state of nervousness and excitement.

Avoid staying up all night. The shorter you are on sleep the less clearly you will be able to think. Don’t get involved in any activities that might interfere with what you have been studying (like going to a movie or party). Review and relax.

THE DAY OF THE EXAMINATION

Examinees to Keep Calm and Cool: Keep all your examination material ready the night before. Copy the timetable carefully. Carry your hall ticket daily for Board and University Exams. Leave home well in advance on Exam days. Visit your Centre a day before the exams commence so you are well acquainted with the location of the hall and your room. Stop studying once you leave home.

Make sure you wake up with plenty of time to organize yourself. Try to eat something, even though you may be too nervous. Drink plenty of water. Have everything you need ready. Make sure you have money if you need to catch public transport, and double-check everything. Don’t arrive at the examination hall so early that you panic, but arrive early enough not to have to rush. You will be nervous, so make sure that you do not give yourself any extra reason to become agitated.

Find a comfortable place and take a minute to relax. Don’t try to cram during the last five minutes before the exam; put away those notes, because whether or not you studied enough for the exam, those last two minutes of studying are not going to make any difference.

Listen carefully to the pre-examination instructions. If you have any questions, ask them then. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification of instruction. When you receive your exam paper, take a moment to carefully read only instructions on it. You don’t want to give incorrect answers because you misunderstood the instructions.

Once in the examination, read the paper thoroughly before answering. Budget your time, getting a sense of which items require more time and which are easiest. Answer the easy questions first, and allow more time for harder items. Read every question carefully and try to answer each one. Don’t watch what other people are doing. If you feel panic rising, close your eyes and take several long deep breaths.

Two people need to be kept at case and happy in any examination – The Examiner and the Examinee. Untidy papers, bad handwriting, illegible writing due to faint ink, no paragraphing, supplements not tied in order, answers to a single question split up or irrelevant answers, all these upset Examiners. Neatness and order in your presentation earns you the Examiner’s goodwill and also better marks.

Just before the paper begins – Relax. Even if you feel you have forgotten everything do not try to check out on your memory by trying to recall some formula, date or fact. You may not remember and this can destroy your self-confidence. Above all make God a partner in your exams. Pray as though everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you. Remember, together you make an unbeatable pair … a sure winning combination.

In most tests, there will be questions you can’t answer. Don’t worry about these. Skip them and move on the questions you can answer. After answering easy questions, go back and work on the harder ones. Work as fast and accurately as possible. If you are taking an essay test and you go blank, pick one question and start writing. Something will trigger the answer in your mind.

Don’t panic when students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for being the first done. When you leave the exam do not discuss the paper with other candidates. They will start to depress you by giving answers you did not give and they may not even be correct answers.

IT’S OVER!

Treat your examination as over and done as soon as it is over and done. Try not to think of everything you could have added or deleted. Think about something completely different, go out, watch a film, take your mind off what is over and look at the world around you.

It’s still beautiful, isn’t it?

GUIDE TO TACKLE EXAMS ZEE EDUCATION

For Problem Solving For Short Answers For Essay Question For Objective Test Exam Study
1. Go throughhome work assignments.

2. Copy out problems.

3. Solve as many problems as you can.

4. Check your answers.

5. Find similar problems and keep working.

1. Make a list of important terms.

2. Write down the definition of each term.

3. Think MACRO – Relate the Terms to the ideas presented in the course.

4. Think MICRO – Support your Answers with examples.

1. Review old essay type answers.

2. Write as many essay answers as required in the course.

3. Look over your trial essays and pay attention to areas that can be improved.

4. Essays are graded on information organisation and style.

5. Write a strong introductory paragraph which contains the subject in 3 or 4 points.

6. Include as many specific references as possible.

7. Leave a couple of pages after each answer to add more.

1. Learn concepts and example clearly.

2. Get old copies of exams and go through them.

3. Always choose the best answers – the word or phrase specific to the topic.

1. Prepare summary sheets for large amounts of notes.

2. Make a review of final notes.

3. Look at the areas the teacher has advised for study.

4. Look at questions in study guide, past reviews and question bank at the end of the text book.

Top

 

Managing Teenage Stress

 

Adolescence is a difficult period, physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially. It is both exciting and disturbing for youths as they struggle with questions of identityand self-worth, and as parents you are constantly faced with the problem of understanding.

 

This article focuses on how to start building good relationships with your teenager instead of trying to control them. The key idea is that while control creates distance, having a good working relationship creates an atmosphere of trust. Trust is necessary for getting along and cooperative problem solving. While the pointer given seems simple, it is pointed out that we don’t always apply this knowledge effectively when it comes to our teenagers!

 

“Managing Teenage Stress” is divided into three major categories: Understanding the adolescent, Understanding how your teenager copes with stress, and how can you as parents help your teenager cope with stress. The whole text is intertwined with examples and research statistics to give you a realistic and holistic insight on how to handle your teenager. The book has used information gathered form researches based on adolescents, real life examples and typical situations encountered with teens.

 

“Managing Teenage Stress” gives you guidelines on how to handle stress related to teenagers, starting from the ever present examination stress, to stress that the adolescent goes through due to his/her growing up. The book provides a concise and direct approach on building better relationships at home and developing your teenager to grow into a more compassionate and humane adult.

 

“The world today is wild”, wrote Rabindranath Tagore of his world, many years ago, and perhaps that is still true of our world, many years later. Along with the wild ways of the world that are beyond the scope of most of our control – socio – political conflicts and economic disparities, most of us deal with the problem of our own sanity in the ever demanding situations of our homes. For us, the conflicts are domestic – with our parents, siblings, spouses and perhaps particularly, our adolescents.

 

This article looks at the stressful times that come between the young people and us. It poses certain critical questions and suggests some of the ways in which we can cope with the sudden changes that affect the child who no longer wants to or needs to be a child. It is designed with the intention of breaking down the walls of resistance and bringing about effective communication between ourselves and the adolescents we find ourselves faced with in our homes.

 

Naturally, we cannot imagine or examine the fullest, widest and deepest scope of the relationships or the problems that shake a whole world of growing minds and the worlds within those minds. Nor, probably, will this booklet answer every query or address every problem everywhere.

But it is our hope and faith that it will make some difference to someone somewhere.

 

WHO ARE THESE STRANGERS?

“Hurry up and come to breakfast, Rohan.” “Oh, let me be. I don’t feel like it. Why do you have to nag me all the time?”

“Sara, you just spend all your time in front of that mirror or in front of the TV, and the room is a mess!”

“Who cares?”

“You’re wasting all that food when people in the streets are starving!”

“So go and give it to them.”

“Look at these results! Varun never wastes his time like you do.”

“That’s why he’s got no friends.”

 

There comes a time in the lives of most teens when everywhere they turn, they find something, upsetting. School gets more difficult, they look in the mirror and realise they aren’t as good looking as their friends, nothing seems to be the way they want it. And we, as their parents, can’t stop talking about all the responsibility that they are supposed to be showing.

 

This is adolescence. When “your child is an adult two years after the thinks he is, and three years before you think he is”.

 

Our children in high school and college belong to this transitional period, when they are neither completely adults and nor are they quite children. There is an overlapping the adolescent is more of a child and less of an adult and at other times, more of an adult and less of a child. And all this, so tidily phrased and cerebrally registered so often by us, is extremely stressful for the emerging individual that our adolescent is determined to be.

 

Actually, the word, ” Adolescent “comes from the Latin word ‘Adolescere’ which means – To grow or To grow to maturity. Adolescence is the age of the final establishment of the dominant positive ego identity.

 

IDENTIFYING AREAS & CAUSES FOR STRESS

When we talk of stress-situations, they may be major life events that are unexpected or unusual, but most of the time they are common day to day difficulties, which, combined with added pressures become unbearable.

 

The most common sources of day-to-day stress for adolescents are:

  1.  
    1. Identification with peers.

       

    2. Family Issues or Problems with parents.

       

    3. School related problems or pressures.

       

    4. Their own thoughts, feelings, or behaviour.

 

IT’S TRUE

In today’s increasingly competitive world there are few things that our youngsters don’t have to worry about. Everything from school, college, entrance exams, future job prospects, parental expectations, and their appearance. Not necessarily in that order of course, but sometimes an adolescent’s head spins faster than the clothes in your washing machine.

 

Here are the details of a research conducted by Development and Research Services, (Times of India, Sept’98), among 1,995 youngsters across eight metropolitan cities, showed that:

 

More boys than girls –

56% to 53%, and more

college-goers than

school-goers – 57% to

51% – worry about their

academic performance.

 

More boys than girls – 63% to 61%, and more college-goers than school-goers – 65% to 58% – are anxious about their future jobs, careers and incomes.

 

Parental expectation is a source of anxiety more at the school level than at the college level.

 

Looks, need to dress well as others and maintain a particular lifestyle – are equally important for boys and girls. But they worry more about it when they get to college.

A surprising fact that emerged from the survey was that a large majority – 60% of the adolescents felt that they were confident about their future. In fact their worries were mainly because they realised that their future depended on them.

Every teenager is bound by two pressure groups – Parents and Peers, While resolving the vastly conflicting expectations of these two groups, coupled with his/her own aspirations, the teenager goes through the anxiety mill. For 98% of the teenagers, career heads the list of priorities followed by education and then family. The anxiety is more performance based than decision based. The youngster is not worried about whether to do management or medicine, but whether s/he will clear the entrance exam for the respective courses.

 

There is, in the first place, the intense desire to succeed, to stay ahead in the rat race. Every teenager wants a job with

a five-figure salary, a house, a car and

every other gadget in the book. The

youngster today is looking towards a

satisfying lifestyle than a satisfying life.

The teenage eye is on lucrative professions

and fast moneymaking pursuits. Making a statement such as piercing your ears, nose, getting a tattoo, etc. is fine as long as it doesn’t mess with your ‘future’ in terms of interfering with your chances of getting a job, spoiling your reputation, and so on.

 

75% of the youngsters claimed that the teenage years are a time of stress and anxiety. Anxiety about exams, jobs, parental expectations, peer pressure, love life, the need to look good and lead a smart life style.

 

Anxiety about performance in school or college and future job prospects seemed to affect youngsters more in the metropolitan cities than anywhere else, because competitive pressures are greatest in the cities. However, parental expectations seemed to be a source of anxiety to youngsters in cities where traditional values have a strong hold, like Ahmedabad, Chennai, etc. With regard to pressures and anxieties, a large percentage –36% said that they turned to their friends for help and advice and 30% turned to parents for help. 43% as against 39% asserted that they were comfortable sharing their problems with parents and siblings. 55% of the youngsters said that they were closer to their mother than their father.

 

Only 25% said that they smoked and 18% drank liquor. But again more boys than girls and more college-goers then school-goers had these habits. Surprisingly, more school students – 10% than college students – 7%, had tried drugs.

 

The respondents in Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore showed a significantly higher level of confidence regarding their future than those in other cities. A cross tabulation of the results showed that the youngsters who said they had sufficient freedom and control over their lives were the ones who were more anxious about their academic performance, future prospects, lifestyles and family problems. This is a clear indication that the anxiety levels have a strong co-relation to high aspiration levels and strong motivation. On the other hand, those who said they did not have sufficient freedom and felt that there was a generation gap in their families, were most likely to indulge in smoking, liquor and drugs.

 

SO HOW DO THEY COPE?

In some cases, they don’t.

Hetal, committed suicide when she realised that she failed her XII standard exams. She mentioned in her note that she was ashamed to face her parents.

Atul, studying for the S.S.C. exam, feels that it is mostly parental pressure that causes stress. ” I feel so stressed out that I cry a lot of times. Only in the bathroom, though.” While his parent’s feel his career and life depend on these exams. Kapil, another standard X student agrees that there is a pronounced lack of willingness to study. ” In fact, it gets so boring that you begin to get headaches. For God’s sake who wants to be like anyone else? I have my limitations but my parents don’t understand it.” Though they may not behave as adults most of the time, adolescents react to stress the same way as adults do. Common reactions are excitement, fear, anxiety, sadness, and anger. The behaviour of an adolescent who is stressed may change, but all of us have to remember that each person is different and his or her reactions are different . Some withdraw, some lash out, and some actively seek comfort.

Although adolescents cope with stress in different ways, there are general patterns in their coping behaviours. There are three major ways to cope with stress.

 

  1. PROBLEM SOLVING: This involves trying to deal with the problem by changing the situation or getting rid of the problem. Or pretending to.

     

    If our youngster deals with his problems in a positive manner, takes part in more activities, sees the positive side of difficult situations, s/he is more likely to be well adjusted than others who withdraw, sulk, or shy away from problems. Acting to solve problems often requires planning. Sometimes it requires learning new skills. For example, coping with poor grades might require learning study skills and managing time to complete homework. Coping with feeling left out and loneliness might require learning social skills. Positive thinking is the key to good performance.

     

     

  2. MANAGING EMOTIONS: This involves handling the thoughts and feelings caused by the problem. Managing emotions can be very helpful when you are dealing with an uncontrollable problem. It can also be helpful in the early stages of dealing with a problem. For example, blowing off steam, avoidance, and distraction can be important ways of getting prepared to cope more directly with difficult situations. The most common ways young adolescents choose to cope with stress are:

    listening to music or watching television. This must be a familiar scene to most parents.

     

     

  3. THE PRODUCTIVE EXPERIENCE: It helps if teens can see something

good coming out of the problem, and finally, doing something enjoyable and

relaxing provides time out from stress. It often recharges batteries so that the

person can go back to dealing with the problems.

 

WHAT IS THE PARENT’S ROLE IN THIS?

As parents, one of the First steps

in communicating with our

adolescent about any issue, is to

understand where they are coming

from and what they are going

through. Usually we want to know what’s happening to our children although we often fall into the trap of telling them what they ‘should’ be doing or thinking. For us as parents, one of the hardest things is to discard the notion that our point of view is the only point of view (or the only correct one).

Adolescence is the stage in development that bridges the gap between childhood being dependent on parents, and adulthood-independence. It is a period when all people search for their own identity, to find out where they fit in the world and who they are. This means that they are often evaluating and imitating adults while being aware of what society expects of adults and comparing this to their own inadequacies. As a result, teenagers often only feel accepted when they are with other teenagers and, therefore, it is very important for them to fit into their crowd. For example, they often don’t mind looking ‘weird’ to us as long as they look “cool” to their peer group. In their search for an independent identity, teenage behaviour may range from rejecting or rebelling against family values to not taking up opportunities due to having to be away from home, fear of failure and so on.

 

Feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity will often be acted out through tears and tantrums. No matter how well we’ve got on with them in the past, we are often challenged as our teenagers constantly try to work themselves out and the world around them. Although we may become frustrated and angry, much of this behaviour is an attempt by them to convince themselves that they can survive away from the comfort and security of the family.

 

Adolescence is also a time for experimenting and risk taking, when excitement comes from getting a driver’s license, getting into the increasingly popular pub culture, sexual contact, taking drugs. All those things that we wish they would “just understand without us having to explain everything all the time.”

 

Ah, but what we are doing there is avoiding the issue. We have more likelihood of winning our youngster’s confidence and respect if we consciously remember 4 communication methods:

  1. Honesty: Let our teenager know what we would like to talk about and why. We need to communicate our concerns, fears and other feelings openly and calmly. We need them to know what it’s like to be a parent. And yes, if we have not been honest in the

    past, may be it’s time to say

    just that too. In a relationship

    as important as the ones we

    have with our teenagers,

    honesty can bring forth only

    honesty.

     

     

  2. Consistency: Because our teenager is viewing the world very closely, they

will be aware of any hypocrisy they see. What are our real views on drugs? If

we have expressed strong and inflexible views about drugs it will be difficult

for our teenager to discuss their own situations with us. What is our own use of

the legal drugs – alcohol and tobacco? Can we acknowledge them to be our

failings or our weaknesses and therefore no longer be their Gods? Well,

perhaps that will increase our own credibility in the eyes of our adolescents.

 

3. Openness: We need to try and be as non judgmental as possible by not

evaluating them. If we can discuss our own and others’ stress as frank realities,

we might possibly encourage our teenagers to explore their own opinions and

solutions for stress. If our teenagers make their own decisions about their

behaviour we need not be the arbiters of peace all the time. With mutually

negotiable ground rules, we need to see that it is important for teenagers to

have a sense of control over their own lives and this requires both sides to be

flexible.

 

  1. 4. Listening: True or Active listening means that the message of what someone is

     

  2. saying is received and responded to. This is different from Passive listening,

     

  3. which does not involve any response other than silence. Active Listening is

     

  4. vital in any effective conversation. Conveying to the other person that we are

    be aware of our body language, including our facial expressions and postures.

    really interested in what they have to say helps to draw them out. We need to

     

  5. We need to make sure that we are telling them we are open to their concerns.

 

YOU KNOW THEY’RE NOT LISTENING WHEN

  •  
    • Ordering- You must…, You have to…, You should … etc;

       

    • Over sympathising- Don’t worry you’ll be all right;

       

    • Warning/threatening- You’d better…, or else…,

       

    • Lecturing- Did you know…, The truth is…,

       

    • Diagnosing- Your problem is…,

       

    • Judging- You are wrong, You’re being stupid;

       

    • Interrogating- What, Why, Who, How.

 

These methods leave little room for the other person to find their own response or solution.

 

At the same time, parents are people too. And there comes a time in most parent’s lives when we take a good look at what is out there for our children and get downright scared. Drugs are rampant, teen pregnancy and AIDS are on the rise, education costs a fortune, and our teenager wants the best and latest to keep up with his peer group.

 

In order to combat these stressful feelings, we have to separate all that is happening in our lives, and in our teens lives, into two separate categories, what we can’t control and what we can control. We cannot possibly control all that our adolescents are going to experience or encounter, but what we can control is – the atmosphere at home by making it friendly and open.

 

There is strong evidence that FAMILY CLOSENESS plays a key role in promoting positive behaviour in adolescents. Synthesized below are the findings from several studies. Although there are exceptions to everything, what is suggested here is that HOW WE RELATE TO OUR CHILD is instrumental in influencing his/her decisions.

 

NOT SURPRISELY

Adolescents who do well, tend to come from families where:

  •  
    • All members of the family communicate daily.

       

    • Guidance on growing up is constantly shared.

       

    • Children are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings in honest conversations.

       

    • The family has traditional rituals and shared experiences.

       

    • Family discipline and family responsibilities are clear and positive.

       

    • The family relies on caring, sharing and communicating to solve problems.

       

    • The family reacts to change well (it is flexible and responsible).

       

    • The family atmosphere is tolerant and accepting and provides for children to be successful.

 

AND SO, WE TRY TO GET CLOSER TO THEM:

 

We could ask our teenager what the problem is according to him/her and what s/he regards as the best thing to do. Being young adult, s/he will most likely have the answers that are best for her/him. Her/his ability to solve the problem will also provide her/him with greater confidence.

 

Guidance needs to be asked for, not dispensed as advice, but more as a suggestion, making strict note of the fact that it is not ourselves but themselves ho must take the step and be responsible for it:

 

“You will have to make up your own mind but I would ….”

 

“What do you think of.?”

 

These are complex processes which occur gradually and start during infancy. A teenager’’ adolescent years will be less stressful when parents and child have worked together on these tasks throughout the child’s earlier development. The ability to talk openly about problems is one of the most important aspects of the parent-child relationship. Developing a relationship with open communication occurs gradually by spending time together.

 

One way of ensuring that our adolescent really listens, is habitual praise. It can be simple as saying “thank you” when s/he does some odd job for us. It’s not so difficult to find good things about our youngsters, surely, and as we help them build self esteem in this way, the stress levels are bound to go down. Consequently, there are more things to talk about, to want to talk about.

 

We also need to be able to:

 

  1.  
    1. Encourage adolescents to talk about what they are going through, and be willing to listen. Ask questions so we can understand the problem without jumping to conclusions and giving advice. May be the adolescent just wants to be understood. Even if a problem seems small to us, it may be of major concern to the young person concerned. Minimizing a problem or saying “you’ll get over it” is not helpful. It gives the impression that we don’t understand or are not willing to listen.

       

       

    2. Offer reassurance, encouragement, and support. Be willing to provide verbal or physical comfort, but it is important not to be discouraged if the adolescent rejects this effort or is irritable. These are normal reactions to stress. It is necessary to be patient and let the adolescent.

       

       

    3. Continue to provide structure, stability and predictability. Within reason, we need to stick to the same rules, roles, and routines.

       

       

    4. Encourage our adolescent to participate in activities s/he normally enjoys.

 

WE NEED TO:

 

  1.  
    1. Make it clear that we are willing to talk about difficulties they may be facing. Help our youngsters develop social skills and help them learn and practice problem-solving skills.

       

       

    2. Suggest ways of coping with difficult situations. Help them develop specific skills they can use to make decisions or solve problems. Then give them safe ways to blow off steam and relax. They could go for walks, play basketball, listen to music, or talk to someone.

       

       

    3. Help them learn and practice skills that will allow them to participate in and enjoy new activities. Provide opportunities for activities that are fun and enjoyable. May be workshops in Art and Craft, or Holiday Camps with friends.

 

For some teenagers, adolescence is the most difficult transition in development. It is a time for teens to find out who they are and to focus on peer group development. Independence is usually the hardest struggle for adolescents, which may cause stress for parents. We can help prepare teenagers for a smoother transition into adolescence by:

 

  •  
    • Providing a safe and loving home environment.

       

    • Creating an atmosphere of honesty, mutual trust, and respect.

       

    • Allowing age appropriate independence and assertiveness.

       

    • Developing a relationship that encourages our child to talk to us when upset.

       

    • Making them responsible for their belongings and ours.

       

    • Teaching them to take responsibility for basic household chores.

       

    • Teaching them the importance of accepting limits.

 

FINALLY

 

Of all the jobs in the world, being a parent may be the most challenging. Children

are often hard to understand. They seem impossible to control. Sometimes, no

matter how hard we try, it seems that everything we do is wrong. No one can

make parenting easy. But by learning more about adolescents and their needs, we

can learn to be more effective parents.

 

Today’s adolescents are more career minded and more focused, and they get more

pocket money. Even with all the difficulties of establishing a personal, social,

vocational identity, adolescence is typically an interesting, exciting, positive

threshold to adulthood.

 

The parenting skills outlined in this booklet are no more foolproof than anything else in this world. It is not necessary that teenagers will always respond to these skills, as they are not robots. Nor is the parent a robot who can continue to function rationally at all times. The main idea we have tried to establish is the need to speak to what is best in adolescents – their intelligence, their initiative, their sense of responsibility, their sense of humour and their ability to be sensitive to the need of others. The idea is to put an end to talk that wounds the spirit, and search for a language that nourishes self-esteem; to create an emotional climate that encourages teenagers to cooperate because they care, and to finally demonstrate the kind of respectful communication that we hope children will use – during their adolescent years, and later as clear thinking adults of tomorrow.

Top

 

 

Time Management

 

“I need more time.”

“I don’t get time to play.”

What else?

“My parents want more from me- but how do I give it to them.”

“There is too much stress.”

“I would really like to go swimming on Thursday, but I am afraid I will simply not get the time. There is so much of homework.”

“There is no time to relax even during the vacations.”

“I have so much to do; there is just not enough time for me to do it all.”

“I am harassed, overworked, tired, tensed. I seem to be forever pushing myself, and can’t ever relax completely.”

 

Do the above statements sound familiar? If you find yourself making statements like this too often, then you really need to make some changes and conquer the clock. Your problem is that you are not able to manage your time properly. What you really need is implementing Time Management in your life.

 

This section on ‘Time Management’ deals with the following issues, which are very much related to time management:

 

  • What is Time Management?

     

  • The concept of procrastination in time management

     

  • Why do people procrastinate?

     

  • Effective ways to tackle Procrastination.

 

What is Time Management?

 

We all have 24 hours a day at our disposal. Still, you will find that there are some people who are doing so much with their lives that it seems that they have more time.

Actually, it is not the actual time you have that matter but how you utilize your time is what makes the difference.

 

We always find a shortage of time. There are many things that we want to do but fail to accomplish due to lack of time. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves whether it is really the lack of time or is it our inability to utilise time effectively and efficiently.

 

To ensure time management you have to learn to work smarter, which would help you to manage time more efficiently.

Before we learn about time management, let us just try to find out ‘where does our time go?’

  1. Write down your daily activities for the past one-week.

     

  2. Categorize them under essential and non-essential activities.

     

  3. Find out how much time you spent over non-essential activities.

Voila`! Now you have extra time available to you, if you avoid these activities. Simple Enough!

Everybody is not able to do it as simply as that. So, let us know a little more about ‘Time Management’.

 

Time Management is about setting clear priorities for yourself and making sure that you achieve them. Time Management starts with understanding the basic premise that time is a limited resource – so we have to make a choice of how to utilise the time to the maximum. Above all, it recognises “when time is gone it is gone”!

What does it take to manage time?

 

To make better use of the available time, one should firstly have a sincere desire to get more work done in the available time. So a change in attitude and habits is most important .

Remember time management is not an easy task.

Time management is very individualistic. Your time management techniques is based on the following issues:

 

  • What’s most important to you? – Mind you, what is important to you may not be important to others.

     

  • What do you want to be and to do in your life?

 

All these are important because the goals you set, the decisions you make, the paradigms you have – all these will determine the way you plan your time.

 

Time management is absolutely essential for anybody. Without managing time you will not be able to achieve anything.

 

What is procrastination?

According to John D. Rockfeller ” Your future hangs on every day that passes” which is very much true. Therefore, utilising the available time effectively and efficiently is the key to success.

 

A common problem with everybody is the tendency to defer work to a later date. This tendency of postponing or procrastinating slows down one’s progress in life. Procrastination is a reluctance to act “now” promising instead to act at some indeterminate time in the future. Whenever you procrastinate, remember the saying, which goes “if you do not act now you never will.”

Do you suffer from this bad habit of procrastinating?

 

Are you a Procrastinator? Do you keep on deferring your work by giving such lame excuses as:

 

  • “It is unpleasant”

     

  • “I work better under pressure”

     

  • “It is too early in the day”

     

  • “I do not feel like doing it now”

     

  • “I am too busy at the moment”

 

If you give such excuses, then you are a procrastinator.

If you are a procrastinator then you need to immediately tighten your seat belt and begin to work at it…..

 

Doing away with procrastination can start with taking very small steps at a time…..

 

Take a quiz to find out whether you procrastinate.

 

Circle the number along the matrix that most closely represents your normal behaviour or attitudes regarding the statements given below.

(0 =Never, 2= Sometimes, 4= Always)

 

After answering all the questions add up your total score and measure yourself

0-25 Low Urgency mind-set (Procrastinates a lot)

26-45 Strong urgency mind-set 46+ Urgency Addiction (does not procrastinate)

Why do people procrastinate?

 

Like every other phenomenon, procrastinating also has some causes. Different people procrastinate for different reasons. Attitudes, having no clear priorities, having unnecessary fears are all common causes of procrastinating.

 

The common reasons why people procrastinate can be grouped into various broad categories.

 

Some common procrastinating factors are:

 

  • Attitudinal Factors: This includes such factors as unwillingness to tolerate discomfort or unpleasantness, fear of failure, low self-esteem, depressions, boredom, shyness and feeling of guilt.

 

  • Cognitive Blocks: This includes lack of information, indecision, unclear priorities and the inability to appreciate the value of timely action.

 

  • Environmental Conditions: This includes the external conditions namely, social parameters, clutter, noise, disorganisation, lack of required tools, inadequate facilities and infrastructure .

 

  • Physiological Barriers: This includes fatigue, stress and illness.

 

Ways To Tackle Procrastination:

 

So the key issue now is how to get rid of this evil habit of procrastinating.

 

Fighting procrastination is a continuous process. The strength and ability of doing away with procrastination will grow each time you have been able to take charge of yourself, and act on the things at the right moment instead of deferring it.

 

Here are some measures of curing Procrastination. Practice this and be free of this habit.

 

1. Bringing in an Attitudinal Change

 

For starters, the first step to tackle Procrastination is a change in Attitude. Change your attitude towards procrastination and you have taken a major step towards overcoming it.

 

Bringing in change in attitude entails the following habits, which you have to inculcate:

 

  • Cultivating an Attitude of Affirmation: You must begin by saying to yourself that “I can and must overcome it”. Do not lose belief in yourself if you have failed previously and thus always defer actions thinking that you will fail again.

 

  • Self-Disciplining: Discipline yourself so that you can avoid deferring your work.

2. Develop a plan of action

  • Ask yourself ‘why did I procrastinate?’ – Be honest with yourself. Once you have identified the problem half the battle is won.

     

  • List out the work that needs to be done. Break it up into small steps, which are achievable within a fixed time. This is important. If the time is too short, work cannot be achieved. At the same time, if the work is too less, then the thrill of having met the goal is not achieved. But do not worry. You are your own master. You will be able to set your goals with a few initial mistakes. Don’t let that bother you.

 

3. Raise your Energy Level

 

Physical and mental fatigue is a potent cause for procrastination.

Being energetic and active will help you to do away with all your procrastination.

 

If you are low on your energy levels, which prevent you from taking immediate, actions then try these simple steps:

 

  • Regular Exercise: Start simple exercise like taking brisk walks.

     

  • Eating Healthy: Eating wrong things at wrong times makes one sluggish. A good balanced diet helps in reducing fatigue.

     

  • Not taking excessive stress and strain: Apart from physical fatigue there are several psychological factors, which affect energy levels. Emotions such as excitement, curiosity, fear, anger and anticipation can cause fatigue instantly.

 

4. Get tough with yourself

 

This will help to develop a strong “Will Power” which in turn will help you to overcome procrastination.

 

Develop will power to:

 

  • Finish current task within the fixed time

     

  • Perform a difficult task.

 

Getting tough with oneself or “Flexing” the will as it is called is an important way to develop Will Power. Just like the human body, the human mind is also capable of adjusting itself to the demands made on it. Thus, if the demand made on the mind is steady, regular and consistent then this automatically enhances its capability and functions well. So, you have to have the will power to use the mind, otherwise, you lose your capacity.

 

5. Every time the goal is met, pamper yourself. Eat your favourite food, tell your parents and get them to pat your back etc.

 

6. Prioritise

Prioritising simply means doing “First things first”. Distinguish between what is important and what is urgent and you will see that you are able to manage time more efficiently.

7. Use Visible Reminders.

 

Procrastination is such a dangerous habit that in spite of learning the ways to tackle it, we often end up in procrastinating. Therefore, placing reminders on a piece of paper at a visible place will be helpful. At work you might put them on your desk pad, on calendar, on the wall, on the soft board and so on. You can also keep some great sayings in front of you. This may be something like:

 

  • Time is Money

     

  • Make today count

     

  • Procrastination prevents success

     

  • People do not fail because they intend to fail; they fail because they fail to do what they intend to do.

     

  • Do not delay it — do it today

     

  • Use the day

     

  • Make it happen

 

Practice the above mentioned tactics and be sure to achieve success.

 

You would like to get different views on time management. Log on to these sites and learn more about time management.

 

www.preplanet.com

www.geocities.com

www.uiuc.edu

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