AKPreMed

Med School or Bust
Dec 2, 2011
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Hi there,

I'm a hopeful DO student (Will be graduating in 2014). I struggle with pretty bad procrastination. I always get my work done and do very well, but I literally wait until the last possible moment to do the work, causing ridiculous amounts of stress (on myself and my family). I really NEED to overcome this horrible habit prior to matriculating. I can only imagine how impossibly difficult medical school will be if I carry this habit around with me until then. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to overcome procrastination? Or if there are other procrastinators out there that have successfully graduated from undergrad, went on the medical school and done well, what was your experience like?

I'd really like to get over this and develop more effective study habits, as I'm sure the stress of medical school alone will be enough without this added on top!

Thanks!
 

Ochemlover45

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Jun 25, 2011
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Go to library. Do not bring computer, cell phone, or any other electronics. Enjoy.
 
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FrkyBgStok

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15+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2005
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I am a planner but I haven't always been a planner. At my university, classes would start a certain day, but their blackboard/angel/icon system had everything online a week in advance so you could attend the first class with everything. During this week I would schedule out my semester. The syllabuses would have all the assignments for the semester and when everything is due (i went to a large state uni so it was pretty organized). I would get out my trusty planner and plan my life. Keep in mind that I worked full time, worked part time, and took 20+ credits so I had to do this. But I would also use that week to glance at the assignments to see what I was up against. Not prestudy, just see that for this class lesson 1 is read 100 pages and write a 4 page paper, and lesson 1 for this class is read 10 pages and watch a movie. Then I would use this information and write down the exact days I was going to do stuff. In short, if you would have asked me on Sep. 1 exactly what I was studying and for what class on Nov 3rd, I could tell you. I would set my own due dates.

This is a little drastic and it may not work for you, but try setting a goal. You have a 10 page paper due friday? Do 2 pages per day Sat-Wed and proofread on Thur. When you get your 2 pages done, reward yourself by not forcing yourself to do anymore. Be done. Using these small chunks as goals lets you have a little leeway.
 

JustDOG

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Apr 15, 2012
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Canada
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Hi,

I am the same about putting things off. Recently read this interesting article on the Pomodoro Technique.
Just look it up on a search engine, there is a free PDF. Now, honestly I haven't used it yet, but I am going to try it over summer session.
I also echo the turning off electronics comments.
Good luck!
 

AKPreMed

Med School or Bust
Dec 2, 2011
26
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Thanks for the advice! I think one of my big problems is that a majority of the courses I'm taking are distance based and have no "set" duedates. My Abnormal Psych class actually has the due date for all the assignments as "the last day of class". Easy to put off, right? Plus I work full time, and take classes M-Thurs from 6-9PM, so staying motivated and keeping on top of assignments is really difficult for me. I find it very easy to say "I deserve to not do homework tonight after the day I've had." :oops:

I will definitely try the library thing. Also kind of hard because of the hours I work, but I think the campus library has later hours. :)

Thanks again, everyone!
 

AKPreMed

Med School or Bust
Dec 2, 2011
26
0
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Hi,

I am the same about putting things off. Recently read this interesting article on the Pomodoro Technique.
Just look it up on a search engine, there is a free PDF. Now, honestly I haven't used it yet, but I am going to try it over summer session.
I also echo the turning off electronics comments.
Good luck!


Hey, thank you! I will totally check it out! :)
 

JustDOG

New Member
Apr 15, 2012
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Canada
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hi,

I have done distance classes as well. Bombed them. Why- no assignment due dates or accountability. I fixed this by setting up solid due dates with the course tutor/instructor. Also made a point of checking in with her once a week or so to stay accountable, and to continue the discussion of how close I was to handing in the next assignment. This allowed for flexibility (which given a busy schedule is necessary), and accountability.


So......When is that next assignment due?:)))
 

cabinbuilder

Urgent Care Physician
15+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2005
4,626
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Texas
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Thanks for the advice! I think one of my big problems is that a majority of the courses I'm taking are distance based and have no "set" duedates. My Abnormal Psych class actually has the due date for all the assignments as "the last day of class". Easy to put off, right? Plus I work full time, and take classes M-Thurs from 6-9PM, so staying motivated and keeping on top of assignments is really difficult for me. I find it very easy to say "I deserve to not do homework tonight after the day I've had." :oops:

I will definitely try the library thing. Also kind of hard because of the hours I work, but I think the campus library has later hours. :)

Thanks again, everyone!

UAF study section of the library is open 24 hours. At least it used to be when I went there in the 1990's.
 

ChaiMeow

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Feb 16, 2012
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  1. Pre-Medical
My best advice is to break things down. I used to procrastinate a lot because I felt overwhelmed by what was ahead. I use a timer and set it for 50 minutes and stay strict about only studying, then I take a 10 minute break. Repeat as often as you can :) If you have several subjects put them on rotation and do each for an hour!

This has been really helpful for me, I hope you'll try it out for yourself.
 

milosavljevic

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Sep 23, 2009
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Hi,

I am the same about putting things off. Recently read this interesting article on the Pomodoro Technique.
Just look it up on a search engine, there is a free PDF. Now, honestly I haven't used it yet, but I am going to try it over summer session.

I have a problem losing focus, so thank you for suggesting this Pomodoro Technique. I started to read the PDF and it seems quite useful. It's something I've being trying to do (~30 minutes study with 5 minute breaks), but I never knew there was a specific 25-minute/5-minute process with a set plan. The kitchen timer method is interesting because you can't start and stop it, unlike the timer app I have on my phone (gets tempting to just start/stop it). However, I don't think fellow students would appreciate a kitchen timer buzzing every 25 minutes in the library =P

Edit: There's an iPhone app called Pomodoro Time Management Lite that is free
 
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