Staying Motivated, Organized, and On Track

“Push yourself because no one is going to do it for you”

Image of Texas Tech student studying in the law library.

Figure 2.1 – Students studying.

Where Are You Now?

Assess your present knowledge and attitudes.

Yes Unsure No
1. I have clear, realistic, attainable goals for the short and long term, including for my educational success.
2. I have a good sense of priorities that helps ensure I always get the important things done, including my studies, while balancing my time among school, work, and social life.
3. I have a positive attitude toward being successful in college.
4. I know how to stay focused and motivated so I can reach my goals.
5. When setbacks occur, I work to solve the problems effectively and then move on.
6. I have a good space for studying and use my space to avoid distractions.
7. I do not attempt to multitask when studying.
8. I schedule my study periods at times when I am at my best.
9. I use a weekly or daily planner to schedule study periods and other tasks in advance and to manage my time well.
10. I am successful at not putting off my studying and other important activities or being distracted by other things.

Where Do You Want to Go?

Think about how you answered the questions above. Be honest with yourself. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate how well you stay focused on your goals and use your time?

Need to improve Very successful
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

In the following list, circle the three most important areas in which you think you need to improve:

  • Setting goals
  • Staying focused on goals
  • Keeping strong priorities
  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Staying motivated for academic work
  • Solving and preventing problems
  • Having an organized space for studies
  • Avoiding the distractions of technology
  • Preventing distractions caused by other people
  • Managing time well when studying
  • Overcoming a tendency to put things off
  • Using a planner to schedule study periods
  • Using a to-do list to ensure all tasks are done
  • Finding enough time to do everything

Are there other areas in which you can improve your time management skills so that you can study effectively in the time you have, while still managing other aspects of your life? Write down other things you feel you need to work on.





How to Get There

Here’s what we’ll work on in this chapter:

  • Setting and focusing on goals that are specific, realistic, and attainable
  • Setting priorities for managing your time
  • Adapting a positive attitude for college success and overcoming fear of failure or negativity
  • Developing and practicing strategies for staying focused
  • Preventing or solving problems that might threaten your success in college
  • Choosing a study space and using it to your advantage for most efficient studying and avoiding distractions
  • Understanding why multitasking, such as using your computer or cell phone while studying, is inefficient and actually wastes time
  • Using your “time personality” to perform at your best and to plan ahead
  • Using an academic planner to schedule study periods, get started on projects well in advance, and manage your time well
  • Developing and practicing strategies for overcoming any tendency to procrastinate


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RaiderReady: Unmasking the Possibilities of College Success Copyright © 2018 by Texas Tech University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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