If you’ve ever looked at some of the science behind why we procrastinate, often it is the gap between the reward and the activity we have to work on. The reward for studying now is only going to be felt when you get your final grade. That could be months’ away in some circumstances.
What can you do?
To overcome this, you need to put intermediate rewards into your schedule. For an example, if you are trying to lose weight, rather than having a long-term goal you need to create shorter, medium-term goals. And then, rewards yourself when you meet them.
How to Apply to your Studies
Applying this principle to studying this is what you can do:
- Every week you complete your study, have a reward in place for completing your study for the week. It doesn’t have to be big, just something that will give you the motivation to do your work each week.
- For assignments, set minimum goals of what you need to accomplish and when. Then add rewards for meeting each target. Think of it like a project. Project tools like Gantt Charts make it easy to plan out your assignment. Then you can add rewards at different finishing points.
- For exams, you should combine the two points above. It is a long-term project and should be treated as such. It also has weekly tasks in preparing revision notes each week. And making sure you do your study each week. And add rewards to each of these tasks to make sure you stay on track.
Ideas for Rewards
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, it is a habit.Will Durant