Here are some ideas to help you as a learner.
- Write a weekly planner: use the calendar in Outlook (the email program).
- Use your prep diary.
- Write down every piece of prep set, when it’s due and when you are going to work on it.
- Break big pieces of work down into smaller tasks: allocate short chunks of time to each task (e.g. 45 minutes).
- Ask someone (friend, parent, tutor, HM) to check your organisation once a week.
Procrastinating (putting things off):
We procrastinate for a number of reasons: the task seems daunting; we are afraid of failing at it; we think it will be dull or time-consuming; we fear that what we are putting off might involve hurting others. If we are putting off something we have to do, we have no choice but to tackle it head on.
- Break big tasks into smaller chunks and tackle them one by one.
- If you think a task will be dull, remind yourself of its importance and how you will benefit from completing it.
- Try completing the task with someone else.
- Set a time for completing the task and give yourself an incentive/reward for completing it really well.
- Only use your computer or phone if you absolutely need it for the work. Otherwise switch off (especially phones).
- Switch off any programs that will distract you from what you have to do (social sites, games, email) and disable any pop-up alerts.
- Give your phone/computer to someone to look after when you are studying.
- Exercise/practice mindfulness or stillness to develop your concentration span.
- Remind yourself of the importance of completing what you are doing and remember that most distractions can wait.
- Feedback is vital to improving performance/skill. Listen to any comments that help you improve.
- Try to put aside feelings of being insulted so that you can take the advice.
- Distinguish between comments about YOU and comments about YOUR WORK.
- Act on corrections/suggestions as quickly as you can so that you learn from them straight away.
Other learning tips:
- Try learning in a different way: speak to teachers/tutors about different approaches to learning.
- Try learning with other people.
- Ask for help and accept criticism which helps you get better.
- To learn, you need to be calm, positive and focused. Get to this state by doing some mindfulness, exercising before prep/learning, watch something funny, listen to music, resolve or park any issues stopping you from learning.
- Observe your thinking: challenge any thoughts that make it difficult for you to learn (e.g. “can I think about this differently?”; “what can I change to make the learning more successful?”; “it isn’t perfect, but it is good and I’ll get feedback to help me improve”; “critical feedback is not about ME it is about THE WORK.”; “asking for help is not a sign of weakness or stupidity”).
- Eat well/healthily and maintain even energy throughout the day. Avoid lots of processed carbs which will give you a sugar rush/crash.
- Get exercise.
- Take breaks.
- Get enough sleep (8 hours per night).