Developing Good Work Habits sample essay
During the early school years, students must begin to develop good work habits including preparing for schoolwork, organizing time and effort, and developing effective study skills. As students continue into middle school and high school their success depends, to a large degree, on refining and sustaining these work habits. Time management, organizational skills, and efficient study skills become especially important by this stage. Students who are able to develop and maintain good work habits are in a position to succeed – to learn what needs to be learned, and to become confident students.
Getting started on assignments in school and at home requires students to engage their attentional abilities. Students must be alert to the task at hand, possibly shifting focus to a new activity, and have the mental effort necessary to initiate the task. Students who are able to preview, or think about the outcomes of a task before beginning, are helped in many ways. They can have an idea of what a report will be like once a topic is selected, what materials will be necessary to do an assignment, etc.
In addition, students who have a strong sense of “step-wisdom” – knowing how tasks or activities can be broken down into a series of steps, will be able to determine the first step needed to get started on an assignment. There is an optimal rate for accomplishing most tasks. A competent student is often a well-paced student, performing at a rate appropriate to the task and available time. Taking the appropriate amount of time for a task is largely dependent upon both a student’s temporal-sequential skills and his/her attentional abilities.
Temporal-sequential skills help us interpret, retain, or create information that is in serial order. These skills are related to a student’s ability to appreciate time in general and estimate time appropriately. Tempo control (a facet of attention) helps students regulate the allocation of time to the task at hand, and predict the time required for an upcoming task. Tempo control also instills a sense of “step-wisdom”, the knowledge that it is more effective to undertake activities in a series of steps, rather than all at once.
Tempo control allows a student to match his/her pacing to the demands of a given task, e. g. , to take the right amount of time to finish an essay test, to do a homework assignment thoroughly yet efficiently, etc. For many students, time is their most precious resource. Making the most of the time they have enables students to be as efficient and successful as possible, leading a balanced life of work and play. A clear understanding of time is required for students to manage their own time effectively, e. g. , plan long term projects, organize schedules, etc.
As such, time management skills are an important component of a student’s success – in school and beyond. In order to meet assignment deadlines and to keep up with schedules related to school and schoolwork, students must engage their temporal-sequential ordering abilities. These skills help us interpret, retain, or create information that is in a serial order. Students with strong temporal-sequential ordering skills are able to manage their schedules, organize their work, and make efficient use of their time. Such students are also able to avoid procrastination (putting off a task that must be done).
For students with weak time management skills, procrastination can have painful consequences, affecting both academic and personal success. In order to complete assignments for school, students must develop their cognitive working capacity. That is, students must learn to initiate and maintain the mental effort needed to complete tasks and activities. The ability to manage one’s effort is closely linked to academic productivity and success. A strong capacity for work enables students to delay gratification and to persevere through tasks that take considerable energy.
It also helps them sustain their effort when information is worthy of attention, even though not immediately exciting, such as when studying a chapter they will be tested on the next day, or reading the instructions for a science experiment. Developing good organizational behaviors can play a key role in efficient school performance. School is much easier for students who know how to organize themselves, their materials, and their work space. Having effective organizational tactics will continue to be a valuable asset throughout a student’s education and career.
Being ready to learn often means being prepared for the next activity, having to shift gears from one task to another, and having all the necessary materials on hand. In order to develop this aspect of learning readiness, students must engage their attentional abilities (especially that of previewing), as well as their memory skills. Through previewing, a student is able to look ahead and be prepared to deal with upcoming circumstances, challenges, and academic tasks.
For example, previewing helps students prepare for a test, get ready for an upcoming class, and smoothly transition from one activity to the ext. In addition, students who preview are able to determine which materials are needed for a task and to remember to have those materials on hand. As a result, they are better prepared for activities and better able to follow through on assignments. Staying organized for school requires a student to have strong spatial abilities as well as a strong memory. To efficiently keep track of school materials and assignments, for example, students must have an internal sense of how things should be organized.
In order to follow through on school-related tasks, such as turning in homework and bringing the right books to class, students must be able to remember where these items are, as well as remember to have the items on hand when needed! Maintaining a good study space is important to every student’s success. Students must have appropriate environments in which to learn and study, both at school and at home. Setting up and keeping an organized work space requires that students have strong spatial abilities. Such abilities help a student arrange a consistent place for storing school books, organize a desk drawer, keep a desk clear of clutter, etc.