Imperial College Health Centre

Member of Regent Health Primary Care Network
NHS Central London Clinical Commissioning Group

Self Indulgent Student

Procrastination can be tough to overcome because you can easily delude and sabotage yourself :
you do everything but the priority; make excuses; find other diversions.

Avoidance can become a self-reinforcing habit.
It may be that nothing but the approaching exam deadline will raise anxiety sufficiently to kick start revision.

Revision Tips

Timetable your fixed hours (lectures/coursework, travel, eating & sleeping) and your recreation time.

  • Make the recreation compulsory, not the revision work.
  • Focus on “starting to work”, not on putting in a certain number of hours each day.
  • When you start a piece of revision work, only concentrate on it for 30 minutes. Then record this achievement on your timetable schedule and give yourself a reward.
  • Start as many 30 minute periods as you can. The aim is to get into the habit of “frequently starting” to revise.
  • After some success with this approach, you can gradually extend the study periods.

Defining Work

At first, “work” can legitimately involve all the necessary preparatory activity for revision:

  • Sort out your notes, obtain necessary photocopies, past exam papers, details of exam requirements, etc.
  • Determine in overall terms what topics you want to cover and by when and chart it visually. Make the chart a rough guide – resist getting too detailed.
  • Choose one topic you find moderately challenging but not threatening — break it down into manageable chunks and make a start.
  • Find out what environment results in more productive study: your room? the library? studying with a friend?