Don’t Procrastinate, Read This Today!
On this one thing, nearly everyone can agree - Everybody procrastinates.
There can be a lot of various reasons for it - fear, laziness, lack of time management. The list goes on. But, we all can agree on one other aspect of it - procrastinating usually doesn't do you or anybody else any good. It's simply a bad habit to start and, in the vast majority of instances, should be avoided, especially when pursuing an associate degree in health care.
"Procrastination stops us from fulfilling our potential and disrupts our career, business, relationships, finances, and health," said Loni Simon, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde Career College's North Hollywood, Calif. campus. "If we procrastinate for a long period of time, we think that our condition will improve and that one day we will have stronger confidence or better solution. Unfortunately, it is the reverse. Unfulfilled goals and potentials will be buried."
All of which begs the question: What are the best strategies to stop procrastination?
Keep it simple
First and foremost, "be organized," Simon said. "Prioritize a what-to-do list or write down goals and identify deadlines.
"Remember that prioritizing is not procrastinating."
Simon said it also helps to try and maintain a "begin today" mentality.
"Let's get out from our comfort zone every single day by stepping forward in a direction that inspires us and evaporates sheer laziness or excuses," she said.
Finally, Simon said, "affirm and confirm." Always tell yourself positive affirmations or thoughts. Say to yourself, "I can do it," or "No task is too tough for me." This not only will help you avoid procrastination, but will push you harder to finish that diploma program or associate degree in health care.
Get honest with yourself
Other times, procrastination comes down to simply telling yourself not to do it.
Zane Wilson, MBA, CPC, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's Portland, Ore. campus, has a four-step method to combat the stalling.
- Make a decision to stop
- Set milestones or dates to accomplish tasks in advance
- Ask for accountability
- Pair up with someone who is organized and good with time management
"Everyone procrastinates for various reasons," Wilson said. "Either way, it's a bad habit to get into, and we are all a little guilty at times."
The Two-Minute Rule
James Clear, an expert on the science of human behavior, has written countless articles and publicly spoken on how to build better habits and has developed a method of countering procrastination called "The Two-Minute Rule."
The Two-Minute Rule is actually quite simple and is based on a premise Clear refers to as the inertia of life - once you get started on an activity, you keep rolling. It embraces the notion that all sorts of good things happen once you get started.
With that in mind, Clear suggests starting activities that only take two minutes to complete, like writing, eating, reading or running. Just write one sentence (two minutes), and you'll often find yourself writing for an hour.
Want to eat healthier? Eat just one piece of fruit, and you'll often find yourself eating more. Just read the first page of a book and, before you know it, three chapters are gone. Go out to run two minutes, and you'll find yourself tacking on more time each time out.
Sit down to study for two minutes, and you might just find yourself attaining that associate's degree in health care you've wanted so long.
"Anyone can spare the next 120 seconds," Clear stated. "Use this time to get one thing done."
Staying focused during the summer and holidays
Keeping focused on your health care training or health care career during the summer and holidays can be a challenge. Kids home from school, Office and school parties, shopping for relatives, hosting events at home, planning travel... it can all add up to overtaxed brainwaves and attention spans.
The summer and holidays can lead to distractions and stress at work and in school which can lead to loss of productivity and increased mistakes. Plus, typical oversight and supervision often go missing during the holidays, giving many employees greater license to let their minds wander.
Tips for the summer months
Summer always is a great time of year. The air is hot, the sun is bright, and it's a great time to get outside and relax. It's a payback from the months spent cooped up indoors during winter. But there also can be challenges, especially when it comes to focusing on what's really important. For our Concorde students, it can be difficult to remain focused on their health care studies.
We at Concorde don't want our students to take their eyes off the prize... at least, not too much when it comes to health care studies. We enlisted the help of some of our directors of student affairs and got some good advice on how to stay focused on those health care studies during the summer months.
Here is what they had to say.
Think ahead and plan in accordance with health care studies - Noel Bell-Poats, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Grand Prairie, Texas, had three main points to make.
Be proactive - Starting late April to early May, Bell-Poats said her campus held an event that showed students opportunities for summer camps for their children. "Most often, we have attendance issues due to lack of childcare for the summer months," she said. "Therefore, our plan was to assist our students in finding camps that would be conducive to theirs and their family's needs."
Plan activities - The Grand Prairie campus planned activities that engaged students, all while helping them beat the heat.
Take advantage, but don't overdo - Josh Alvarez, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Miramar, Fla., said to take advantage of the time when kids are involved with outdoor events. Use the time they are entertained to buckle down and study.
But don't overdo it. Don't deprive yourself of some summer fun. However, once your batteries are recharged, get back to your health care studies. It's important to weigh your options. Is this fun activity worth putting myself behind a day or two in my health care studies?
A few other quick summer tips
Ray Riley, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Jacksonville, Fla., reiterated that planning ahead was key.
- Secure a summer camp early to alleviate any childcare woes.
- Plan summer events around your school schedule.
- Involve family in your daily health care studies, making it a fun activity when possible.
- Set a fun and challenging goal for the family incorporating your academic success. If achieved, the family will celebrate together with a movie, beach outing or a fun family night.
Finally, Renel Gilles, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Tampa, Fla., agreed that nothing replaces good planning.
"During summertime, I find it especially good to create a routine to help stay focused," Gilles said. "It helps to stay hydrated and well-rested during the summer months to avoid falling into a procrastination loop. Establish a balance between school and play." In short:
- Create a routine (start a good habit).
- Stay hydrated and well-rested to avoid procrastination.
- Establish a good balance between school and play (study hard and play hard).
7 tips for Staying focused over the holidays
If you find your motivation slipping away, the website Topresume recently published some simple tips to stay focused on your health care training and/or at work. We want our Concorde students, faculty and associates while enjoying the holiday break, to stay on point so that that health care training pays off in the end.
- Leave personal chores at home - The most distracting element during the season, according to the Topresume article, is bringing personal holiday errands to work. No one can completely focus on two important areas at once. One or the other will suffer. Instead of using company time to plan personal events, explain to the boss that you need a day or two off to work on holiday preparations.
- Try to avoid multitasking during health care training - While it is true professionals need to be able to work on several projects at once, you have to choose the tasks that are multi-task friendly. Never cram two or three projects into one workday. You might think this saves time for holiday planning. In the end, you most likely will make a mistake and redo the work, which wastes more time.
- Start fresh each day and clear your mind - Schedule a few tasks you want to accomplish each day. Complete the easiest ones first and then move on to the more complex activities. Nothing looks as bad on paper as in your mind. Each night, mark off your completed activities and take time to breathe. Don't worry about tomorrow. Focus on the immediate. It helps reduce stress and keep you focused.
- Limit your distractions during health care training - Remove anything from your work area that has distracted you in the past. Schedule time to check emails each day. If you're concerned about missing an email from your boss or important client, set up desktop alerts for those people.
- Tell your family and friends to respect your working hours - One of the easiest ways to keep your day distraction-free during health care training or work is to not take any personal calls, texts or emails. Put your cell phone in a drawer and leave it there until after work. As them to call your office if there is an emergency. Unplug from Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook during office hours. Social media and texting are two of the largest distractions to employees. Save social media for home.
- Take care of yourself regularly, mind and body - Failing to exercise and take care of your health causes stress, anxiety, and depression - all contributing triggers to office distractions. Take walks during the day. Take some time to meditate. And, be sure to get the proper amount of sleep.
- Resist the urge to over-commit during health care training - Now is not the best time to overburden your schedule with extra work. Resist the urge to take on new tasks. Apologize for not being to help now and offer to pick up the slack after the holidays. Don't be afraid to tell someone no. They might be put off at the time, but your sanity and ability to focus on your health care training or work is more important.
What are you waiting for?
So, go ahead and do it. Check out our program options or put the pedal to the metal, now! Our admissions team is here to answer any questions you may have.