Students who enter college with lingering bad study habits may experience difficulties when there is less of a "safety net" of parents and teachers making sure homework and other assignments are completed. Similarly, students who head straight to work after high school may find that their bad study habits manifest themselves into poor work habits. Procrastination, poor time management, poor note taking and not completing assignments are poor study habits that high school students need to break before they graduate.
Most people procrastinate from time to time, but habitual procrastination can lead to trouble at work and school. According to Psychology Today, chronic procrastinators actively look for distractions and may justify their decision to put work off by saying that they work better under pressure or that they will feel more up to a task the next day, but it often doesn't turn out that way. Psychology Today also pointed out that people who tend to procrastinate are more likely to have compromised immune systems, gastrointestinal problems and insomnia. In the workplace, procrastination can erode team work and morale. High school students can stop procrastinating by building willpower through building focus and reminding themselves of their values, working on important projects even when they'd rather be doing something else.
Poor Time Management
To-do lists, personal goals, prioritizing and scheduling are important to effective time management. High school students who have poor time management skills may face serious consequences at college or work because they are unable to complete tasks in an appropriate time frame. Using a calendar or day planner can be extremely helpful in helping students organize their time. Students should get in the habit of setting times for daily activities like studying. Making and adhering to a schedule can help prepare students for life after high school.
Poor Note Taking
High school students who go on to college will need to be able to take effective notes in order to have good information to study when preparing for exams. Effective note taking helps students to listen more actively, getting more out of classes than students whose attention may wander. Taking notes during lectures can be challenging, so it is important for students to develop a system or shorthand so they can keep up with their college instructors. Some students find it helpful to audio record lectures to facilitate note-taking and studying. High school students who skip college and head straight for careers will also need to be good note takers. Employers may give instructions that employees need to remember, and good note taking skills can help new employees manage work related tasks. During training sessions, employees can be overwhelmed by the amount of information they are receiving, so good note-taking can facilitate the transition to a new job.
Not Completing Assignments
High school students who are in the habit of not completing assignments will face serious consequences in college or at work. Many college professors have a zero tolerance policy for late work, which means that requests for extensions are not granted. If a student fails to turn in multiple assignments, it may be difficult to pass the course. Employers are also not likely to be tolerant of missed deadlines. If an employee does not complete a project in time, the company can lose money or an entire team may be negatively impacted. It is important that high school students get in the habit of completing all assignments on time. Setting progress goals over the course of a long-term project and using a calendar or planner to help with time management can help with assignment completion.
Evie Sellers is an educator based in Georgia. She has taught in public high schools, colleges and universities. Sellers holds a Ph.D., with primary research interests including teacher training issues, social justice and health issues.