The UPSC Civil Service examination is the most prestigious examination in the country and is a dream for many individuals across the nation to qualify. The sheer size of the enterprise of preparation for this eclectic exam needs dedication, hard work, perseverance and a lot more. Often a lot is written about what “should be” done to excel in this exam, but not about what “should not” be done. To sum up the don’ts we will find that “procrastination” is at the core of don’ts. As Charles Dickens famously said that “Procrastination is the thief of time”, it holds even more significance for UPSC CSE preparation as time management is one of the key pillars on which the edifice of one’s success rests in this examination. Hence, the primary tip for an aspiring Civil Servant is “Stop Procrastinating and Start Doing”
Easier said than done, procrastination has a tendency to seep into your preparation cycle, as the quantum and dimensions of the syllabus are Himalayan in nature and every candidate has his/her strengths and weaknesses. So the key to avoiding procrastination and getting on with your preparation is first to find those weaknesses and work upon them along with some tips to avoid procrastinating tendencies which are given below.
1. Find your motivation
The ultimate fruit of qualifying for the examination!! Positive motivation: You will fulfil your goal and serve the nation. Negative motivation (works for some): What will you do if you are unable to pass the examination- Society, parents, and friends what will they say??
2. Calculate the emotional cost
Think about the amount of stress that’s been caused by putting your daily targets in abeyance and pushing them forward, leading to piling up of pendency and how much frustration will be caused if you continue not to take action. Imagine how good you’ll feel once you finally do act. Compare the cost of taking action to not taking it at all. This will motivate you in the right direction.
3. Draft a to-do list with items/actions/tasks you usually avoid
Only list out items/actions/tasks you tend to avoid and leave routine things which are completed or acted upon. This will help a great deal in identifying and acting upon things you avoid.
4. Consume small task packages- break down your larger goals into micro, doable tasks.
Be sure they are realistic enough as per your moods and preferences, and do a SWOT analysis before you do this. Then make an action plan with a deadline orientation and adhere to it. This will help you get positive energy once you achieve your goals and to avoid feeling bogged down.
5. Change in orientation
Try and act/speak/think positively and eliminate phrases like “I can’t”, “I have to", "I wish" etc and substitute them with more outcome-oriented approaches like “I will do this now” and “I choose to do this.”
6. Path to Self-actualization
Clearly draw a life course demarcating how your life will shape and along what trajectory if you fail to realize your tasks and juxtapose it with if you succeed.
7. Pat your back
Give yourself task gaps or gifts after the completion of milestones.
Faculty, GS SCORE
Verifying, please be patient.