Maintaining your focus: Effective Strategies
Develop a strategy to help you keep focussed and avoid procrastination.
As an online learner you will be responsible for motivating yourself to complete work to deadlines. Now that you have considered the obstacles which might affect your ability to complete your work, you can start to develop strategies to deal with them. An effective strategy will help you to stay in control of your workload and keep organised and motivated.
Review the example strategy below and read through each step, then consider what your own personal strategy might look like.
Is there anything you do already which helps you when you are stuck?
Are there any other techniques which you have learnt about in this resource/elsewhere which you could include?
First, make a list of all your tasks and assignments.
Break each piece of work into smaller tasks. When you think about starting a big piece of work it can lead to negative feelings and then to procrastination. Breaking something like an assignment down into smaller tasks can help to reduce feelings of anxiety as it allows you to focus on one aspect at a time.
Order the tasks by priority. This will help you to see more easily where you should be directing your time and efforts.
Try to estimate how much time each task will take you to complete. If you are poor at estimating how long you need to complete a task, it is best to start by giving yourself more time than you think you really need.
So your strategy so far is:
List what you need to do.
- Prioritize your list of tasks, decide what is most important and work out which order you will attempt them in.
- Estimate how long each task will take.
After you have completed these steps you can then start to plan when you are going to complete each task.
Tick the tasks off your list as they are completed. It is important to recognise your achievements as this will help to build your motivation.
Do you want to discover more strategies to help you deal with procrastination?
The example strategy was taken from the My Learning Essentials online resource: Now or never? Strategies for dealing with procrastination. The online resources were developed in partnership with colleagues at the University of Manchester Counselling Service. See the full resource for further information.