One of the greatest difficulties in being a student is dealing with the feeling of being overwhelmed. We often have projects, homework, and studying that piles up without end. As you get behind, it becomes an insurmountable obstacle that mounts extra stress and pressure on your shoulders.
The trick to avoiding the feeling of being overwhelmed sounds simple enough – get ahead! It’s easy to say, but difficult to do. Many times, we feel like this is the semester that we will get ahead of our work, but little by little, tasks creep up and unexpected events throw us off.
It’s time to remove the stress and dig yourself out of the hole! Applying practical steps to a strong mindset will ensure your success. Here are 4 steps you can take to get ahead in your classes.
1) Be a point scorer. Too many people get caught up in the end result. They calculate how many points they need to pass, how many questions they can miss, and what they need to know to get by. That takes a surprising amount of effort. Stop worrying about the end result. With every assignment, look to score every point you can on it. Attack each assignment, answer every question to the best of your ability, and then move on. Don’t dwell on one assignment for hours and get behind in others.
2) Know and track your priorities. Figure out when each assignment is due and estimate how long it will take you. Put this information in the same place as your other responsibilities – athletic competitions, family events, vacations, etc. That way, when you budget time for studying and homework, you can easily balance it with the other things happening in your life.
3) Earn your free time. The average student does the bare minimum before relaxing to watch tv, play video games, or whatever else their interests are. By doing that, their minimum actually becomes the maximum. Level up in school by requiring more for your free time. Get ahead one assignment before you turn on the tv. Give yourself a 15 minute timed social media break in between assignments instead of taking a break until you feel like working again (hint, you won’t). Reward yourself with things you like to do when you’ve overachieved, not when you’ve simply reached the minimum.
4) Class time is business time. Usually when we get behind, we haven’t given our best performance in class. It’s a difficult scramble at home dealing with homework, life events, and still trying to make up for things you did not do in class. Be a professional in the class setting. Phone put away, positive body language, and active participation. Ask your teacher how to get ahead in their class. Be up front with your goal of not being overwhelmed. Use every minute in class to your advantage. The more you do at school, the less pressure you will have on yourself later.