Success in any endeavor is not about IQ or being born genius, but it is more about habits and discipline.
If I have to give credit to the freedom I’m enjoying at this moment, I will give it to the habits I repeated over and over again.
Once the habits become a part of my subconscious, it gets automatic.
For instance, I’m writing this blog now. And I’ve written blogs, articles, and research papers in the past seven years, so much so that I’ve now become flawless in creating such blogs. So it is child’s play.
Once, I wrote over 100,000 words in just thirty days. I don’t want to recall those struggling months of my profession as a content creator. But I take pride in saying that it made me more discipline and more humbled.
Indeed, first, we have to build the habits and then allow our habits to build us.
Whatever is difficult can be done easily with regular attendance, attention, and action. - Israelmore Ayivor
Five simple steps I follow to build the habits:
- Pick an activity. (For now, let’s assume I’ve to build a good reading habit.)
- Start small. Twenty minutes a day would do the work.
- The mind will repel and try to avoid in the beginning. Could I ignore my mind? Okay! Read 20 minutes anyway.
- Success lies in repetition. Repeat for the next 30 days. Announce that you are reading your favorite book on social media – Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook.
- Enjoy the moments of discomfort. My mind is a rascal. Stepping back and looking at what my mind is doing gives me more clarity to tame it.
Now, the question is: “How can you remain consistent while you are preparing for UGC-NET English Literature or GATE exam?”
Here you go:
Years ago, in a quiz conducted by Forbes, it came out that out of 7000 participants, about 70% don’t know how time flies by.
There is a helpful rule of thumb: “if you want to take your life back on the right track, then start tracking what you do.”
Until the desire to crack the exam is too strong, it is difficult for a student to crack it. Tracking allows you to understand where your time goes and how you can invest it in a better way.
As now everything goes well in my life, I may fall into the trap of procrastination. So to avoid it, I still try to squeeze as much as I can by simply tracking my hours.
Keep a diary and write down the time you spend studying English Literature. Four hours of consistent, well-planned study for six to eight months can separate you from all the cats and dogs of English Literature.
Rule of Two
Never work on more than two subjects in a day. The reason for keeping your tasks to minimum help you stay more focused for a larger span.
These two activities must be of great importance to your long-term career benefits. For instance, as a creator and educator, my two most important activities are: learn more and create more.
So, reading and writing are what I put at the top of my list. Everything else is low-value activities that will never create a significant impact in my profession.
Every morning, you can pick any two subjects based on their impact on your exam. Here is how the UGC-NET English Literature question paper will be divided.
- British Literature: 35-40 questions
- Literary Theory and Cultural Studies: 20 – 25 questions
- Literary Criticism: 7-10 questions
- English Education In India: 4-7 questions
- Language and Linguistics: 5 questions
- Research Methodology: 5 questions
- Literary Movements: 2 questions
- European Literature: 3 questions
- Magazines: 3 questions
- American Literature: 3-5 questions
- African, Caribbean Literature: 2-3 questions
- Ancient Literature: 1-2 questions
- Passage Analysis: 5 questions
Write the above list on paper and stick it on a wall from where you can glance it time-to-time. It will help you set priorities. Then, focus on the subjects that will yield a good rate of return on your time invested.
Stay Away From Devil
Every time your hands go to pick your mobile phone, perceive it as a devil’s job to keep you away from your preparation. It’s the right time to tag your mobile phone as the Devil.
I like my mobile, but I’ve nicknamed it Devil. I don’t say, “where is my mobile?” but “where is the devil?” It keeps me aware of how my phone can prove to be a massive distraction during my peak productive hours.
80% of your time spent on the mobile phone is of no use. There is nothing necessary on YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp that you cannot delay it for another day.
Now, don’t say that you use YouTube to attend live lectures. Okay, maybe you are a genuine student who wants to learn as much as you can from these live lectures.
Maybe you are waking up early in the morning and attending some YouTubers. I’ve respect for you. Of course, it isn’t easy to wake up so early. But after every live lecture attended on YouTube, you can ask yourself:
- “Was that live session worth my time?”
- “What did I learn?”
- “What if I had read a book or made some notes rather than attending the live lecture? Could it be more fruitful than the session?”
- “Was that educator a genuine one, or was he/she was trying to sell his/her course or subscription all through the session?”
Suggestion: It is better to listen an organised audio book rather than watching the educators discussing their pets, functions, politics, sarees and promotional messages.
Your time is limited. So, you need to restrict the number of hours you spend on technology.
When I was preparing for UGC-NET English Literature Exam, I joined a library for six months and kept the Devil (my phone) at home.
Hire Someone To Monitor You
Have you tried everything yet been unable to achieve what you always wanted to? Maybe you need some guidance or a constant guide who can help you go through the process.
Sometimes many of us remain unaware of the procrastination we do on a day-to-day basis. There are some weaknesses or blind spots which always remain out of sight.
Personal awareness plays a significant role in finding out whether or not we are focused. A great way to build personal awareness is by hiring someone to monitor your progress.
You can also consider asking your friend or someone who has already cracked the UGC-NET exam about the weak areas or habits restraining you from cracking your exams.
As many students in our batch keep reporting their progress daily, we have seen many of them improving ten times in the last six months. (Know more about our Study Material and mentorship program here).
Constant engagement with your mentor can help you stay on the right track and keep you motivated enough to play the big game.