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Stop Procrastinating! The Five Simple Ps That Promise an A+ and a Social Life

by College Magazine on February 17, 2010
College Magazine Staff

By Nicole Eisenberg > Freshman > Business > University of Maryland
Photo By Danielle Martin > Freshman > Art > University of California at Santa Cruz

No wonder students are resorting to excuses—we’re only retaining 10 percent of what we read, and 20 percent of what we hear, says Nicholas Aretakis’ website, author of No More Ramen: The 20-Something’s Real World Survival Guide.

With that probability, professors can’t expect us to actually ace our tests and do our homework, right? Wrong—takes some effort, but with just a few simple changes to your procrastination habits, you can get that A.

First, open your planner (or go out and buy one if you didn’t already). Next: use it. As soon as you receive a syllabus, write down your entire semester’s work, including deadlines and study time. Also, write down some “social” time, like a date for the movies.

Next, prioritize. Cramming 37 hours of activities into 24 hours is impossible—unless you rank what you have to do in order of importance. Use a number system or stars and symbols to organize the tasks you just wrote into your planner.

Plain just do it now.  Lay out a course of action—two hours for this paper, one hour for studying—stay off YouTube and get to it!

Have more than one assignment to do?  Dr. Daniela Schreier, assistant professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, recommends treating your schoolwork like dinner—finish your first helping before starting on your second.

Then, pluck them off the list. Take a marker and cross that baby out. That action alone will feel rewarding.
Following these rules, you’ll have hours to spare. Reward yourself with Starbucks or watch a re-run of Glee. Perhaps even celebrate with the fifth simple P: party!

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