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Setting Goals and Getting Stuff Done

Posted by ENC Student Life on Sep 29, 2016 7:01:00 AM

Homework is the worst. A day or two goes by, then a week and suddenly you have a mile long list that is weighing on your soul. It's easy to get discouraged and feel overwhelmed. All you need to to go from procrastinator to productive is 5 simple steps.

Set Realistic Goals.  

Step one to getting your to-do list done is making sure your items are properly stacked. Setting realistic goals means taking a look at what you need to do, and honestly evaluating what you can get done in a limited amount of time. First, figure out how much time you have. Second, determine how much time it will take you to complete each of the items on your to-do list. Then, do the math and see how many of those items will fit in the time you have allotted. Chances are, all your items won't fit in the time you have. That's ok! Put the most immediate items at the top and focus on those first.  

Use the right tools.  

Getting stuff done requires the right tools. If paper lists drive you crazy, try an online tool like Trello, Pinitto.me Checkli, and ASANA. If digital isn't your thing, try getting a snazzy note pad, new pens, or a bright set of highlighters. Sometimes something as simple as a new pen makes homework more exciting and less of a drag. When writing down the list, don't forget to break down the list to each step. For example, instead of having "Write History Paper" as an item, have "Write History Paper" as the main item with "create outline", "write thesis statement and intro paragraph" etc.. Setting these smaller goals helps you feel accomplished and gets the creative juices flowing! 

Avoid distractions.  

Put away your phone, close your door, sign out of Facebook and turn off the TV. Avoiding distractions keeps you productive. Friends can be a great encouragement, or a great distraction. If you really need to buckle down, let your friends know you need some personal time and not to bother you. Try going to the library or computer lounge for some quiet space away from friends and roommates. If you're a nature lover, go to Wolly beach or a local park. We live in a beautiful area with lots of spaces for creative thinking.  

Reward yourself.  

When you complete a small task give yourself a small reward. Have an M&M, eat a chip, or play a quick game of Candy Crush. Tailor your positive reinforcement to the size of the items on your list. For small tasks, give yourself an instant reward that lets you get back to work quickly. For a bigger tasks like finishing a paper or reading a few chapters, give yourself a few minute break by taking a walk or running to get a snack. It's important to appreciate the work you get done!  

Don't get discouraged.  

Sometimes you have every intention of being productive but life gets in the way. Instead of getting discouraged when items don't get checked off, be proud of what you got accomplished. Getting one thing done is better than none! And if none got done, well then you already have your to-do list for tomorrow. :) 

Written by ENC Student Life

Student life in Quincy, MA at Eastern Nazarene College - Empowering students, enriching lives, and educating the next generation. The mission of Student Development at Eastern Nazarene College is to support the mission of the College by fostering a distinctly Christian living and learning community that facilitates the holistic development of students. Valuing the diversity of our students we seek to cultivate and empower their personal growth, health, and success in order to enrich their total learning experience and prepare them to lead and serve in the world.

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Topics: Adulting, Life Hacks