You are watching lots of movies; you are reading lots of other stuff – news articles, novels, magazines etc; you are on phone most of the time; you may be quarreling a lot with girlfriend/boyfriend, parents and siblings; you are daydreaming a lot; or you may be just sleeping too much.
But you are not reading the books that matter in clearing the UPSC civil services exam despite dreaming day and night about becoming an IAS officer.
You want to read a lot. You want to make notes. You want to start answer writing practice. Yet, these are not happening. Days are being spent on doing things that do not help you succeed.
The fact is that you are doing these things to escape from your own fears. You are scared about pending works. You are scared about doing something that you haven’t done before. You are scared about the result because you may be thinking that you would be never able to match the score of toppers. Or you may be just scared about the UPSC and its seemingly ‘uncertain’ behaviour!
You waste time not because you are fond of wasting it, it’s because you want a safe hiding place from so many responsibilities. Last night you decided to make notes from The Hindu, but today you read the same paper for 3 hours yet failed to make notes. Instead, you wasted whole day watching movies because you felt bad about not making notes; or you just told yourself that you would do it tomorrow because there is still plenty of time left.
Funny thing is that you know time once gone is gone forever. You try to console yourself by postponing your tasks. You think you are ‘buying’ time, but you don’t realize that you are ‘burying’ the time. You are burying the future.
But why are you wasting time?
Some aspirants assume that they can give the exam next year by preparing very well this year. This feeling gets stronger as the Prelims approach. This is one of the reasons why only less than 50 per cent of applicants write Preliminary exam every year.
You are wasting time because you think that you have plenty of time. Because you think that you have still got many attempts. Because your confidence level is very low. Because you have lots of pending things to complete.
Things go on accumulating because you waste your time doing tasks that in no way help you achieve your goal. The more you procrastinate, the more your confidence levels hit the bottom.
Even if you have got only 30 days for the exam, start preparing today. Don’t worry if you succeed this time or not, things you do seriously today would help you tomorrow.
If you go on postponing your tasks, I can guarantee you that you will do the same in your next attempt too.
Don’t worry how less you have studied till now. Don’t worry how much pending work you have. You must start studying now.
Just take a pen and write an answer. Solve a problem or two. Read a chapter or two from your optional subject.
Do it for 4 hours. Your confidence will be back. Try it if you are serious about getting a rank.
All you need is a genuine START. Then accelerate. Know your speed. Sustain the momentum. Always realize that the hours you waste today would cost you tomorrow. Once you realize that you are wasting time for no reason, you will start focusing on your goal. Realize it now.
You have sacrificed a lot to prepare for this exam. You have come far away from your home. You have pent 2-3 years for this exam without a job experience. There is no point in wasting time. You have to get a rank. And ranks don’t come if you keep on procrastinating your plans.
One key to sustain your momentum is to love what you do. Once you start well, your confidence soars. When your confidence is good, the mind is relaxed. The more you are relaxed the better will be your performance in your studies and exams.
It’s just a starting problem, or a ‘restarting’ problem. Wake up now and start again. No one can stop you except yourself. A start should be such that you should stop only at the doorstep of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.
No matter where you stand today irrespective of your levels of preparation, start now.
As Prelims are nearing, it’s better to start with brushing up your basics again. Solve lots of questions. Don’t worry about the past. If you do more now, the past will slowly melt away. Get busy with exam related stuff. Start enjoying this journey. Remember, once you start, your stop should be at the LBSNAA.