“What is measured is managed.” Keep a log.

Dedicate a small notebook that can be carried with you anytime you may do reading, test review, or any other schoolwork outside of class.  Track entries of any and all work done daily, and tally up the hours at the end of each week.

Aim to lower your weekly total by 30-60 minutes every week. You can also indicate the class for which the work is being done, so you can look back later and see where most of your time is being spent (or wasted).

Here is an example entry from my log:

WEEK 2: 1/12 – 1/18/09 (5 hrs total)

Mon–45 min DISEASE ch 13 skim

Wed–60 min ENV STU wk1-2 make review questions

Thu–15 min BIOLOGY ch 22 skim

Fri–30  min DISEASE ch13 skim

Fri–45 min DISEASE ch 9 make review questions

Sun–30 min ENV STU ch1-3 skim

Sun–30 min EVOLUT wk1-2 handouts skim

The key to making this effective is to approach work with the mindset of “how can I get this done quickly?” instead of trying to act busy for as long as possible without making progress.

When your focus is on going in for the kill, you will no longer be stuck beating around the bush of procrastination.

As simple as this change in attitude may be, you can drastically reduce your work time by keeping a record of the time you spend on assignments.