08 Sep 2021

Wednesday 08 September 2021

Do you keep putting off starting that task? From time to time we all experience difficulty with starting a task, managing our time, planning what’s required, and organising our space, materials and sequencing of ideas.

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This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and experiencing varying levels of anxiety (especially in Lockdown).

The question is, how do we switch from the destructive ‘procrastination’ mode to the creative ‘get it done’ mode?  Well, it’s never going to be easy! But we can develop some key skills that, with daily practice, help us to develop a ‘get-it done’ attitude.

Take a look at our summary of six key tips to get you started.

1. Self-Reflect

Look at yourself honestly. Self-reflect on how you can do things better, what you can change and be mindful of your actions. This approach has helped many individuals who were once producing low results but now achieve excellent results. Don’t deceive yourself, with the ‘I can get this task done in five minutes. Oh, I’ll get it done tomorrow’ attitude. Learn to recognise your pitfalls and build on your self-awareness.

2. Focus skills

What’s the opposite of focus? Distraction, distractibility, not paying attention and not concentrating. Become conscious of what is distracting you and then find ways to eliminate it.

  • Are you attending to something else? Keep bringing your attention back to the task at hand.
  • Are you sitting there with your iPad, daydreaming? Save that daydream for the lunch walk.
  • Try sitting closer to the presenter/teacher to reduce the visual distractions
  • Switch-off your iPad and the alerts.
  • Take some notes! It engages the brain more.
  • Actively try to recall three definitions, three quotes and three key ideas?  This helps you remember key points from each lesson
  • Do you do prep and plan for the presentation/lesson in advance?

All these things can help us to link new information to existing information, aids recall, and reduces the mental load.  Now might be the time to give it a try.

3. Self-starting skills

Don’t wait until you’re motivated to start a task as that will never happen if it’s something you really don’t want to do!

  • If you find yourself thinking, ‘it’s going to take all night to write that essay’, then learn the skill of chunking it down into manageable chunks.
  • Also learn to use a timer. Once you’ve chunked your essay down, select the first ‘chunk’ and then set the timer for 10-15mins.
  • The task, for example, could be to reread your highlighted quotes. Once you think in smaller chunks, it is easier to make a start.
4. Sacred study space skills

Build skills to maintain a sacred study space. Stand or sit at your desk. Have your comfortable chair, desk, microphone, sticky notes, good lighting, posters, fun photos etc. Make it yours!

5. Learning the accountability skill

Accountability helps us to commit and follow through with a task. If you’re not motivated to do all the work on your own, organise a study session with your friends. Committing to a time and turning up means that you get the work done with others. You could even book a time with your parents to quiz you on science definitions. This will motivate you to get some earlier revision done. How good would that be?

6. Learning the skills of asking for help

Learning the skills of asking for help is crucial. In the beginning, it’s hard to ask for help!

Then it gets easier every time you do it. Everyone needs help. Every single successful athlete, musician, artists, entrepreneur (or whomever you believe has been successful) has learned to ask for help. They would not be where they are without asking for help. None of them. I 100% guarantee that.