Life hacks: What do if you’re already behind on reading

Don't let all those books and reading assignments pile up! Danny Helms | Daily Trojan

Don’t let all those books and reading assignments pile up! Danny Helms | Daily Trojan

Almost everyone has a bad habit or two, whether it is biting your fingernails or procrastinating on that essay about Shakespeare. A persistent habit that affects USC students at all levels of education is putting off our readings for class. Though keeping up with reading might be perceived as less challenging than a 10-page lab report in chemistry, the volume of reading assigned to any major can be challenging. Excessive amounts of reading, especially if written in a specific dialect or with unnecessarily advanced vocabulary, is rarely desirable.

As the final weeks of September come to a close, plenty of individuals have looked for anything to save them from stacks of books and handouts piling up on their desks. Regardless of why you have not completed the task, remember, there is a process to getting this done.

1. Keep Calm, and Fight On
Control your anxiety by shifting into a more relaxed mindset. There is no need to panic. Not only having perspective, but also breathing can alleviate a high stress situation.

READ MORE: Click here for tips on how to overcome your worst procrastination habits.

2. Location, location, location!
Find places where you will be more inclined to read. Whether it is the South Lawn behind Roski, or the third floor of Campus Center, there are many study locations that will allow you to be productive while crowds of students pile into Doheny and Leavey.

READ MORE: About productive places to study on campus here.

3. May The Best Class Win, Get That Page Turnin’
Start first with the reading that you find the most enjoyable. By completing at least one reading you will transition more quickly into other classes, and it’s easier to start with a subject you enjoy. Reading for class parallels Newton’s laws of physics: Students at rest will remain at rest, and students in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force. Work has the ability to draw you in, and starting is the hardest part.

4. Listen To The Music
It’s easier to focus when you listen to the right kind of music. Listen to high-energy songs that will motivate you. However, be aware of the tunes that are too catchy. For example, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj songs can be motivating and inspirational but can also lead to readers who memorize the lyrics of “Partition” rather than finish their WRIT 150 essay.

READ MORE: Need some new study tunes? Here’s a classical music study playlist to check out.