Students tend to suffer from poor planning strategies. Right now I can see this happening with the final projects that the students in my class have to turn in. Many left it for the last minute, even though they knew they had to work on them since the class began and even though I tried to remind them periodically to pick a topic and start working on it. This is part of the skills one has to develop at some point.
Here is a bit of advice from experience:
- If you know you have a project to turn in on some date, start working on it early.
- Find resources and ask for guidance sooner, rather than later. This is especially true for academic work which might require digging through a whole bunch of almost incomprehensible and outdated material that contains the answers one needs. Usually it takes a while to decipher old notation, etc.
- If you get stuck in a calculation, ask for help. At least you might be pointed in a different direction than you have been attacking the problem.
- Make time for sleep. Studies have shown that people who try to cram at the last minute have almost no retention of material. Good sleep makes a huge difference in performance.
- Sometimes there are inputs into calculations that are ‘obvious’ but never stated. Especially if one has matched to some piece of data.
- If you have a final exam, start studying for it from the beginning of the term. It makes a huge difference: if you don’ understand something you have ample time to ask questions and to get the information. Studying in groups is also helpful: some people can only really learn something if they are trying to explain it to someone else who points out the deficiencies in the arguments.
Also important: get proper nutrition, make sure to get some exercise and don’t forget to socialize a little bit.