For some reason, you find yourself in the situation of falling behind with your studies. Struggling with a hard to understand the study material, fitting studying into a busy schedule full of other commitments are the most common reasons. Lack of time management skills or even lack of confidence in your abilities to get through your courses, as well as delaying studying until the last moment are some other reasons for which you find yourself in an unpleasant situation. Arm yourself with a good positive attitude and get your things together, glancing through the following 5 pieces of advice on how to catch up.
#1 Seek Support from Teachers and Colleagues
The commonly overlooked aspect of being a student is that teachers are there to help you accomplish your studying tasks and promote your exams. Talk to your teachers about your difficulties and let them know if you need further support on catching up essential information you have missed for various reasons. Making a connection with your tutors is a good way to state you’re willing to learn and that there are other reasons for your falling behind that are not simply reduced to neglecting your academic career. There are a lot of good education techniques, and not all of them wide known, so you should keep an open mind. Making friends could also be very helpful when dealing with a busy schedule and you have to divide yourself between classes and other commitments.
#2 Prioritize Studying
In order to catch up on your courses, it might be useful to reconsider your entire DO list for the next period. Except for vital commitments and, in some cases, professional schedule, the rest of your time should be concentrated on catching up the missed study. For this phase, a simple ‘4D’ system is quite handy for putting your tasks into the right category. The 4Ds to consider are the following:
- The Do it now category – and here studying is first in rank.
- The Delay it category – meant for tasks that are important but they are taking too much of your time and can be delayed. The trick here is not to delay a task more than once and to schedule a subsequent time for it in your program.
- The Delegate it category – in this group of tasks surely there are some such as shopping and dinner making, to delegate to your housemate or partner in order to gain for a while more essential studying time.
- The Dump it category – applies to things that you are frequently moving from a to-do list to another and putting them off will free up some unnecessary mental stress.
#3 Don’t Be Too Harsh On Yourself
Feeling guilty for overlooking your studies is not constructive at all. Falling behind could and does happen to everyone. Having other responsibilities is also important for your personal development as well as enjoying free time. Share your concerns with others and remain open-minded about it. Accepting that you have fallen behind on your studies as well as forgiving yourself for this slip, is good for a self-learning empowering experience. Also, stay close to people which you can share not only your achievements but also hard moments. In this life-study equation friends and family are important.
#4 Take Frequent Breaks
One common mistake is considering that when you settle down for some hard catching up study no breaks are allowed. Even if you have the sensation that there is no time for small things, find out that this a completely wrong approach. Working in short bursts it is more productive than staying chained to your desk all day long is wrong — and there’s research to support this. The recommended ratio between hard study and breaks is 30 minutes of study with 15 minutes completely disconnecting break. If this method does not work for you try others such as the Pomodoro Technique of time management – 25 minutes of no distractions and just work followed by a short break (5 minutes like). After every 4 pomodoros, take longer 20 to 30 minutes breaks.
#5 Mark Up Your Achievements
Consider a short recap of your daily or weekly studying sessions, and plan for a small treat and the end of it. Even little achievements are important for a positive self-motivating approach. You are human and you have human weaknesses so marking up your success is rewarding. Spear the important treats for when you have caught up with all the lost studying material so you will feel highly motivated.
Whatever the reason for your falling behind, the important thing is to manage to go on track again and the above recommendations will help you catch up with your missed studying!