When you have to study for the licensing exam, sometimes it’s hard to avoid procrastinating. If you’re tired or overworked, it may be difficult to find the energy needed for your studies. But there are ways to get around it. Here are five things you can do to stop wasting time and start being productive.
Take Opportunities to Study
For many people, seizing the opportunity when motivation strikes is the best way to get things done. Sometimes, rigid schedules don’t work out well. You might spend your day dreading all the tasks you have ahead, which makes it easier to put them off. Instead, find a way to lean into your ambitions and follow them wherever they go. For example, if you wake up early one morning, and you feel motivated to study, it’s a good idea to go for it. You’ll make more progress, and it won’t feel as much like work. Try to leave at least a portion of your day available for the following pursuits, whatever they may be.
Avoid Overscheduling Your Day
If you have a lot to do and less time to do it in, it’s tempting to book out your entire day. But then you wake up in the morning and realize that you don’t have 15 minutes to yourself at any point until you go to bed. Scheduling is a good way to stay on-task when you’re busy, but you can definitely take it to the extreme. It can be a good idea to schedule your time in 15-to-30-minute increments throughout the day, but be sure to leave at least a few longer blocks of unplanned time. You may not be able to do that every day, but having good breaks on most days will help to make the others feel less rushed.
Give Yourself Choices
You’re probably familiar with the common procrastinating tactic of doing everything on your list short of the items that are most pressing. If this is something that you often do, you may be able to use it to your advantage. Instead of sitting down to do one specific task, give yourself a choice of two. The decision allows you to evaluate which one seems easiest and most practical. In a way, it will feel like you’re taking the easier path. Eventually, you’ll have to get to the second task. But if both of them need to be completed, it’s better to finish one than to pick the harder one and finish none.
Make a Game
There’s a reason that so many companies make games out of tasks that their customers are less likely to do. Games add an element of fun and challenge to something that might otherwise be boring. If you’re struggling to get yourself into your work tasks, consider making it into a game. For example, you might set a strict time limit to finish reading a particular passage, with a reward for yourself if you’re able to achieve it. You can also make a chart of your progress and set prizes for achievements. Just make sure that the goals that you set are reasonable to achieve so that you don’t lose motivation.
Most methods to combat procrastination don’t really address the fundamental cause, which is often some type of burnout. People can start to feel burned out by work, studies or even family responsibilities. Burnout typically shows up in these ways:
- Difficulty focusing on important tasks
- Worry about putting things off, even during breaks and leisure time
- Depression and anxiety
- Trouble with self-care tasks like chores or sleeping
If you’re dealing with burnout at the same time as you’re trying to ramp up your studies, you may need to take a different approach. Scale back your expectations, and make your goals easier to achieve within a shorter period of time. Early successes can help to combat burnout.
Procrastinating is a pain, but there are plenty of ways that you can get yourself into a different frame of mind for your contractor licensing exam studies. For more information about what you’ll need to pass the licensing exam, contact CSLS today!