Study Series: 10 Tips For Getting Started On Academic Tasks

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Hey Everyone and welcome to this weeks Study Series.

This week I will be sharing with you my top 10 tips for getting started on any academic task.

  1. Improve Your Study Environment. You do this by reducing noie, keeping the area tidy and if neccessary move location. (I often take myself out of the house to a cafe or somewhere as it improves my focus).
  2. Avoid Distractions. Keeping your phone on silent, disable email notifications and avoid busy places.
  3. Work In Short Bursts. Taking regular breaks can help keep your concentration at a maximum.
  4. Find A Way To Start. You could start with a small task, as long as you get started it will provide motivation to get started on that bigger task.
  5. Focus On The Positive. Are there aspects of doing the work you really enjoy such as research, experiements etc focus on those parts.
  6. Write Freely. Use bullet points, graphs, brain maps. Utilise word processing software and the ability to copy and paste to edit documents.
  7. Breakdown Tasks. Large tasks can often feel unmangable, breaking down tasks into smaller chunks can help.
  8. Work Alongside Others. Mutual encouragement can help motivate. Having others to discuss things can also help with understanding topic of problem areas.
  9. Ask For Help. Don’t be afraid to ask for any help if you need it.
  10. Try Not To Be A Perfectionist. Sometimes it is easy to get to caught up in how your work appears, whether or not it’s perfect to you. Trying your best is always a good thing but at times we push ourselves to a standard that is more than expected.

You can find the other posts in the series here.

Reading For A Purpose

Identifying and Extracting Information

Accurate and Clear Information

Thank you for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

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Planner Productivity: The Benefits To Planning Your Work.

Last week I shared with you my method for prioritising my tasks. You can read the post here if you missed it.

This week I want to discuss the reasons why I plan and the benefits it holds not just personally but professionally.

The main reason for planning any work is simple, to ensure it’s the best use of your time and energy. Prior planning always means you have a clear objective.

You’ll have to excuse the language but the phrase “proper planning prevents piss poor production” is right and I completely agree.

So what other benefits are there to planning your work?

Let’s have a look;

  1. You will save time in the long run.
  2. You will get more jobs done because you are organised with your time.
  3. Your most important and urgent tasks will be completed.
  4. You will make fewer mistakes.
  5. You will be more organised.
  6. You will find it much easier to check your progress.
  7. You will be much more likely to meet your targets.
  8. You will be less stressed which will lead to better morale.
  9. Having your work planned makes the task less daunting and will provide more motivation.

It really does pay to spend a little time getting yourself organised in the long run.

I hope that this is some benefit to you. Next week we will look at Complex Task Management.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Previous posts in the series;
Prioritising Your Tasks

Time Management Techniques

The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s.

The technique is to use a timer to break down work/tasks into intervals. Each interval lasts 25 minutes which is then followed by a small 5 minute break. The interval is known as a Pomodoro which is Italian for tomato and represents segments.
Once you have completed 4 Pomodoro’s you then take a longer break of around 15-30 minutes before starting again.

The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.

The underlying principles are:
1) Decide on a task
2) Set the timer for 25 minutes.
3) Work on the task until the timer goes off.
4) Put a check mark on a piece of paper.
5) Reset the timer and repeat 3 more times.
6) After the 4th Pomodoro take a longer break.
7) Start again.

The fundamental concepts are:

Planning > Tracking > Recording > Visualizing.

I have been using this method for a couple of weeks now and it seems to be highly effective at getting things done. 

For tasks which require more lengthy processing time or at those times when motivation and energy is high I also use another method known as Time-boxing.

This is when you allocate a fixed time period called a time-box to a planned activity. An example of this was when I was unpacking my bedroom wardrobe contents this week. I allocated myself 1.5 hours to get it all done.

If you are like me and have some form of planner with you at all times it is handy to write down your tasks and think about how long it will take to complete them. I always add an extra 5-10 mins just in case. I then work through the list starting with either the longest or most dreaded of tasks (for me that is sorting out all the laundry on Sunday’s). I separate them into Pomodoro’s and Time-Boxes.

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Do any of you use a time management technique? If so which?

Thanks for reading

The Stationery Geekette x