With the curse of the eternal winter finally being lifted in Geneseo, the end of the semester is coming quickly. Just in the next few weeks I have several papers, presentations, and exams to keep me locked in the library until the end of finals week. In moments like this I like to resort to my go to coping strategy: list making. Lists are wonderful, when used correctly; they can help you keep your work on track and your sanity intact.
Nothing is more satisfying then crossing off every last item off of a list. To keep you motivated I suggest making two lists: One for long-term projects and the other for the day-to-day steps it takes to complete them. Currently I have a giant list that has every assignment I have due between Spring Break and Finals week. I also have a small list for today that allows me to chip away at some larger papers due next week. My suggestion is to keep the day-to-day items at a maximum of five. You have to create realistic goals for yourself to keep motivation up. If you make a large list, even with many small items, the list in itself can make all the tasks seem intimidating. For example here is my list for this afternoon:
- Outline for Paper due 4/28
- Outline for Take Home Exam due 5/2
- Read article for assignment due 4/24
Although I have no assignments due tomorrow by working a little bit on assignments due later on I’m spreading out my work and creating a less stressful work environment.
My other suggestion for completing your lists is to set timers for your self every hour. Your brain only focuses for 45-60 minutes, use that hour to work and give yourself 15 minutes breaks in between to realize your brain and information absorption. The alarms will keep your work schedule on track and remind you of what your supposed to be doing if you get off track during a break.
There is hope for you twitter, tumblr, and facebook enthusiaits, look at me! I’ve used this list method for semesters and it works (mostly) every time. However, not everyone has to be a compulsive list maker as I am, but sometimes just writing out what you need to accomplish helps!