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How to Stop Yourself from Slacking Off

Updated on September 3, 2016

Don't Be The Class Clown For The Wrong Reasons

He sat there in the class, making a paper hat for the other students to laugh at him. I saw him as the last crease was being folded over the bright colors.

"Jason, grab your paper hat and come out into the hall with me." I said as calmly as I could.

Once we were in the hall, I knelt down and talked to him. He merely wanted to get some attention.

I told him that if he had completed his test and turned it in, he could pass out everyone else's tests while wearing his hat. Until the test was finished, he could not work on the hat. It wasn't fair to everyone else who wanted to wear the hat. Broadly smiling, he ran in to finish his test. It was a tradition after that in my class. Whoever finished the test and passed could choose to drop their name in the class clown hat and become the "Grade Joker". I could have lost a brilliant student, but for once, he was everyone else's inspiration.

If you have a flair for being dramatic, ask your teacher if you can do something like this in your class.

Don't Get Seated Next to a Window

We all love windows. A window is a peek at the outside work from inside, allowing us to see what is going on, see the weather, cool the room if the air is stale, call out to people from within and more. A window is wonderful.

If you are a person that is easily distracted, then the window is your worst enemy in a classroom setting. The worst thing that you can possibly do if you are a student that suffers with distractions and maintaining focus is to sit next to the window.

Every leaf that rustles is far more exciting than what is going on. Every sound is a cause for you to research it with a look or a glance, diverting your attention from the classroom, the teacher and your fellow students. If you are a day dreamer, explain that to your teacher in complete honesty and ask if you can be seated more to the front and center of the room. Most teachers will be more than willing to accommodate you.

Take Good Notes

During class, it is easy to drift into another place if you are not engaged in the topic and the teacher that is teaching it. Some topics will never interest you when you are a student. How can you get around this challenge when you don't want to be in a certain class?

Become a good note taker instead. Listen to key ideas, write them down. Use the time when you first get into class, but before class starts to get everything that you will need to take notes set up on the desk or table where you are seated. Make sure to write down anything said about assignments, reading, extra credit and changed class times or due dates.

Review notes when you get home and organize them. If you have a textbook, whether it is online or a book, compare and contrast those against your notes to make sure that you captured all of the ideas that were expressed in class.

Draw small pictures when you get home if that helps you to cement the idea into place.

I once passed a very important test by making drawings that included all of the key points in the drawing, and then made a small song about the drawing. All I had to do was think about the drawing, sing the song in my head and the answers literally came rushing back to me.

Start Homework Now

Create appointments with yourself. I use an online calendar that syncs to my phone. Why? So that I can make sure and remember when to do certain things.When I am in class, I will add the dates of the class from start to stop, and then when I attend the class, I will note on paper the dates of homework assignments and when they are do. Even if they are due the next day, I will set a reminder for when I get home so that I do not forget the assignment. So many things happen when you go home, it is easy to forget.

When you get homework, mark it down on a regular calendar as well and get on it as soon as you get home so that it is not looming over you. If it is not due for some time from now, work on it a little each day. When you are done, go over it and check for mistakes. I had a five page assignment that was due in a week. I knew that on the weekend, I was going with friends to the lake. Working on my homework was not going to happen. Instead, I made myself write one page every single day. If I wanted to write more, I could, but that one page needed to get knocked out every single day.

At the end of my five days, I looked over the draft, made corrections that took less than 20 minutes and turned it in the following day. When I got my grade back, my teacher commented "Great work, a marked improvement. Glad that you are taking my class seriously!" I passed that assignment with a perfect score.

Make Yourself Accountable

Tell someone else that you want to be less of a slacker. Don't make this person be a friend who will not hold you accountable, or who is not leading an accountable life either. Choose a relative who wants to see you succeed. Tell them of your progress every week.

If you fall behind, ask for this person to help you with a better plan of getting things together and more organized. Ask a teacher or a guidance counselor as well.

Don't be available for friends who do not have good study habits. They will not help you in the long run. Hard though it was, I had to tell friends of mine who were not helpful to me that I could only see them for an hour or two every month. I am still friends with a few, but as I became less of a slacker, there were others who would try to directly sabotage my best efforts at being a better student.

Set Timers and Follow Them

Timers are your friend when it comes to getting things done. If I have a homework assignment that is looming over my head, I will set a timer for 15 minutes, which I will work on my assignment, and then I will set if for 5 minutes, when I won't. If I am working at a steady pace and it is coming easy, I will not get up and set the timer for a break. If I am struggling, then I will use the timer to make sure that I get it all done. I set timers on my phone and on my laptop or tablet. They are free and easy. A teacher once taught me that, saying "The best timer is the one that is used." He is right. I even set a mindfulness timer that reminds me of when to go to bed. Without enough sleep, I am pretty worthless. So are you in terms of performance. Get enough sleep and you won't be such a slacker.

About Me

I love writing hubs, and I loved writing this one! It is hard to be a go-getter when the world is wanting your attention. Tell me about what you did to get around this in class.


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    Dixie 19 months ago from Texas

    Slacking is so much fun, until it comes back to bite you in the backside. I find it is a lot more fun to slack off now when everything is done then it is when everything is looming over your head.

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    rabergeronjr 5 years ago from Washington D.C. Metro Area

    I love this post. This is what I am going to tell me child as she gets older. I remember in my high school days when I slacked off on the weekends with doing homework and then my mom would scold me on Sunday evening.