Finishing Strong

Sunday, March 20, 2011

With the nice weather and school year wrapping up, many students at Simpson College are having a rough time staying focused on schoolwork.

But as writers, we know that the show must go on. We have news to deliver and stories to attack. So how exactly can we finish the school year without our minds concentrating on swimming pools and bonfires?

According to Dave Cheong, there are 11 techniques you can use to help stay focused on anything you are asked to tackle. Below, I have listed just a few tips that can be used very efficiently while working on a story.

The first tip is having well defined goals in your work. Whether it's writing them down in a book or simply remembering them, knowing what you want to accomplish as a writer can be made easier by setting guidelines for yourself.

Another suggestion made is breaking things into smaller chunks. As journalists, we have deadlines that we are required to meet. However, taking small breaks helps enable a clear mind and ability to perform at your best.

The third tip is enlisting family and friends for help. Whether it's tell them your goals or seeking their opinion on a story, these are the people in your life that can honestly tell you what kind of progress you are making.

One last tip that can be helpful to a writer is blocking out some time. Whether it's waking up earlier or simply setting aside a certain part of the day for a given task, this helps approach a story motivated and more focused. Afterward, you may find that you have time to go to get some ice cream or go run around in the nice weather.

Just because it's nice out, doesn't mean the news stops for us to have fun in the sun. As journalists, we must prioritize our tasks.

A personal solution I have for my BNR classmates is to go write a story outside in Buxton Park. By doing this, you can enjoy the benefits of good weather and a good story all at once.

With finals approaching us quicker than we think, it is a good time for Simpson students to stop and make a plan about finishing the year off strong.

Photo Credit: Learning Fundamentals via Creative Commons.

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Katie Buchholz March 23, 2011 at 12:33 AM  

These are great tips! One tip that I will try and use is breaking things into smaller chunks. At times, I catch myself doing homework hours upon hourse, and I don't feel very productive or effective. If I break it up every so often, I won't feel so stressed and tired, and hopefully feel like I learned something.

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