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Learning without stress

Newspapers in Education

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I just love the start of a new school year. There is always excitement about a new classroom, a new teacher and maybe even new friends. I’ll never forget how overwhelmed I was in my first year of college. Most of the teachers gave you a list of every project and assignment that would be due for that first semester.

I freaked out. How could one person possibly do that much work before Christmas break?

I quickly learned the key to success was staying on top of projects. Just like the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant — one bite at a time.”

So if you have a book report due next week, start reading the book today. Get it done early, while the material is still fresh in your mind. Then you can reward yourself with something fun. Maybe 30 minutes of a favorite book, or playing a game, or riding your bike around the neighborhood.
I’ve had my moments of procrastination, too. And “worrying” about it was worse than just going ahead and getting it over with. I’m a list maker, and even if I complete something that wasn’t on my list, I've been known to add it to the list — just so I can have the joy of marking it completed!

I know, I’m weird. But I’ve worked at the newspaper for 23 years now, and deadlines are a really really big deal. So I’ve had to learn how to prioritize and get things done early. Because in my world, you never know what story or interview opportunity will end up changing your plans. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you will be dealing with these things the rest of your life. Learn how to be organized now, and life will go much better for you. (YEA! I can mark Sept. Newspapers In Education columns off my list!)

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