Is your goal of the right kind?
For example, assuming that you are preparing for a Math exam and you
tell yourself offhand on Wednesday, “Come what may, by Sunday, I
should have finished one revision of the full syllabus”. Sunday
comes and you are nowhere near your goal. And you feel despondent
and depressed. The reason is that your goal was unrealistic. And
with every day passing you feel the pressure mounting. The
accompanying anxiety itself pulls down your ability and proves to be
an obstacle that prevents optimum performance. What was unrealistic
about expecting yourself to finish revision by Sunday was not the
size of the syllabus but a few other things. We shall discuss them
Decide what exactly you are going to do.
The desired result should be specific and not vague. “Finish Math is
a bit vague. Instead - finish chapters 1-5 on Wednesday, 6-10 on
Thursday, 10-15 on Friday and so on,” is more specific and will tell
you at a glance what you expect of yourself for the day. This is
just a guideline, your specifics should be tailored to your
convenience. You may prefer still smaller split ups that make the
objective even more clear.
Specific time frames are essential.
It also helps to specify time slots. This will ensure that when it
is time for a certain activity you are already mentally prepared for
it. While deciding upon the time slots and the activity to be
performed, it is important to be realistic. Set yourself only as
much as you feel you can finish satisfactorily in the allotted time
frame. Falling short of expectations will hurt your sense of self
Measure your achievement.
The results that you achieve should be measurable. As it is only
then that you will able to assess how much has been achieved and
then evaluate your performance accordingly. This is essential when
you are part of a team. In order to show others how much has been
achieved a quantifiable standard should be agreed upon. And as you
progress, you will see others treading the same path with you as a