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Old 02-16-08, 02:52 AM
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Help please - study schedules

I need some help/ideas setting up a schedule. Here's my situation right now:

I am taking 3 classes on campus (Biology II, Invertebrate Zoology, and Biology Seminar) and one by correspondence (Trigonometry). I was diagnosed with ADHD last semester and I see a counselor once a week. I started off really well and went to all my classes for the first few weeks. I even set up great goals for studying. But I never seem to get the studying done - I keep getting distracted - even when I do manage to concentrate long enough to get through a page of reading, I don't remember most of what I just read! Or I don't get around to studying at all. I totally relate to the idea that ADHD people have 2 concepts of time - NOW and NOT NOW. Once I have a deadline coming up, I do just fine. In Biology and Inverts, I had two tests this last week. I pulled overnight cramming sessions for both and got a 90 on one test and a 93 on the other. In Trigonometry, I had to hand in the first assignment within the first week or get dropped from the course. I made that deadline, barely, but I haven't touched my trig book since, even though I remind myself at least once a day. And lately, like today, I even have trouble getting to classes - I missed all my classes today, including a REQUIRED lab - because I start out the day really slowly and they get more and more hyperactive later in the evening. I end up staying up until 3 or 4 am hyperfocusing on something - not homework unfortunately - and then I sleep through my classes the next day.

So anyhow. That's me right now. Oh, and in case you're wondering, I am not currently taking any meds for ADHD. (Although I do have an appointment this week with a pschiatrist - so I may soon) My counselor - she's more like my "coach" - at school says that people with ADD thrive on structure. And I don't have any. So I need to create some. I want to set up a schedule for sleeping and studying. But how do I do that?

Could you please give me advice and/or share with me what you do? How do you stay on track in your schoolwork? How do you actually get things done? How do you manage to get back on task once you get distracted? Do you take breaks? How often? If you manage to contentrate on one assignment and finish it, how do you manage to get the other assignments done? Where do you study? When do you study?

Please give me some advice! Thanks,

Amy
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Old 02-16-08, 09:20 AM
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Re: Help please - study schedules

I had the same problems in college. It came down to be buckling down and realizing that I can't do the things I did. Medicaiton was only half the battle, behavior modification was the other half. Has you considered seeing a behavior modification specialist?
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Old 02-23-08, 11:03 PM
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Re: Help please - study schedules

here are some things i try do to keep myself on task:

when studying i know that it is useless to try and read the textbook, i just won't take it in and i'll get distracted.
To overcome this i find the main points of what i am supposed to be learning (usually at the end of the chapter, or your lecturers might even hand them out) and then i look through the text books for the information regarding those points. It means that, instead of just reading, there are goals, i am looking for something, discovering something etc. it really helps.

Also with lectures, i write out a list of questions concerning each lecture afterwards, that way when it comes down to studying at the end of the year i can go over the questions, find the answers and i don't have to read boring notes.

In terms of structuring the day, i found that i need a really good start in the morning.
So even if i stay up an extra hour at night, its worth it if i can prepare as much as i can for the following day before bed. That means showering, organising lunch, getting my uni books ready, deciding what to wear etc.

I'm especially bad in the mornings, so you might not need to do this part, but a few weeks ago i decided that if i didn't create a morning routine for myself i would never get into one. So i wrote out everything i have to do in the order that i have to do it in the morning. Everything from 'go to the toilet' to 'put lunch in my bag' to 'take tablet'.

It might sound a bit anal, and i guess it is, but now i usually manage to just stick to that and it saves time that would otherwise be spent trying to work out what to do next and trying to remember everything i need to bring for my day, resulting in a much more relaxed start to the day. It means that i dont have to be switched on in the morning,

When it comes to organising the day i use alarms on my phone a lot. If i am trying to get assignments done and feeling distracted i will set an alarm to go off every half an hour. This means that i can see the time passing easier, and reminds me to stop doing whatever i have ended up doing (drawing in the margins, getting food, looking at addforums.com etc) and keep doing my homework.

Also, if i want to do something regularly like exercise i HAVE to schedule it in. Its no use saying i'll work out three times a week and not finding specific times to do it because it will never happen. I have to decide that monday night at 5-6 is exercise time... etc. That goes for everything.

Also with assignments it helps to break them down. If its an essay on genetics or something i will plan my time in parts. Instead of saying 'do genetics essay for 1 hour' i will say 'read and summarise review on genetic defects'. So its specific and not daunting.

Oh and one more thing. Don't push yourself too hard. If you feel like you can't do any more, don't. Watch telly for half an hour, go for a walk, sit around doing nothing.


p.s reading all that it sounds like i'm all organised and stuff but in reality i only get all that stuff right like 70% of the time. There are many days when i run arund like a headless chicken, not getting anything done and stressing myself out.

p.p.s if you get access to recorded lectures they are hugely beneficial. I started listening to mine in the car last semester and have never learnt so much or done so well at uni.
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