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Fail to plan, plan to fail (Prelims)


The sound of paper being ripped and crushed became her choice of background music at night. One could also hear the other accompanying instruments like guilt, regret, frustration, shame etc albeit faintly. No, there wasn’t a live orchestra in the background while she studied (it would be cool though right? Like in the movies? ) They were her timetables – which she would sit & rip apart sadly every single night. Well-crafted, detailed, ambitious ones. The only problem with them? They aimed too high- 18 to 19 hours in a day with 10000 targets – which of-course she could never implement fully. She’d go to sleep drafting a new one for the mythical “Tomorrow”- but the cycle repeated everyday.


Can you relate? The over-ambitious targets we set for ourselves, the burden of unfinished targets for the day, the stress & guilt associated with it, the procrastination when we tell ourselves “I’ll complete it tomorrow!” Sometimes we choose to go with the flow & make ad-hoc plans to study with no set goal in mind- that too can be detrimental. We both know that planning is essential but what is the most optimal way to go about it? How do we chalk out timetables & STICK TO THEM? We’ll share a few tips- Let’s start! (Please share your tips too in the comments! We love learning from you’ll). 


  1. BE PRACTICAL:  In the following aspects
  • SETTING TARGETS: for the day/week/month. Prioritize. By going through PYQs we can decipher the topics that carry the most weightage. Do them first. Give adequate time for learning & revision. Do not try to sprint through topics. Absorb the concepts well. For example, if we are studying from Laxmikanth, we should start with the most important chapters & we must give it adequate time- you cannot aim to finish revision of the entire book in half a day. It’s no good checking things off the timetable if you do not focus, absorb and understand what you’re learning.


  • PUTTING IN THE HOURS: Have you read (or been shown by your parents, relatives etc) all those cool newspaper articles where kids studied for 20 hours a day & ended up topping various exams… they sound great. May even inspire us to emulate them for a bit. But we’re all different. It’s not about the number of hours we’re sitting at a table for (and eventually staring at various distractions or the ceiling?) No. Effective and efficient study is about how focused we are while studying. It can be 4hrs or 8 hrs. With deep focus we can accomplish faster & better what would have taken longer otherwise. FOCUS ON the QUALITY, not just QUANTITY.


  1. SET OR PICK A SCHEDULE: Keeping the above 2 points in mind, frame your own timetable. Or you can choose to utilize our carefully crafted initiatives :

Stick to anything that suits you. Do not try and emulate others’ methodologies. Analyze yourself, your strengths & weaknesses. You are unique and you know best what works for you.


  1. BE ACCOUNTABLE: to a mentor, parents, a study partner, to your peers in our comment section, but most importantly to yourself. This is your journey. Taking this exam was your choice (we hope). Therefore, be answerable to yourself about your actions for the day. Did they help in bringing you a bit closer to your goal? Did you improve from yesterday & learn from your previous mistakes?


  1. BE ADAPTABLE: We’re all human. Perfection is not possible right? So if you miss a target for the day, it’s ok. Do not stress. Always compliment yourself for what you did achieve for the day. You must be your own biggest cheerleader! Don’t aim for perfection, aim for action- make mistakes along the way but just keep doing your work. Strive to improve every single day.


  1. THE 100% RULE: We’ve read about it, watched TED talks on this rule… right? It basically says that you must show 100% commitment to your aims & goals. Give it your all. Do not hesitate on investing yourself fully into your goal. Be 100% in it to win it.



So the aspirant who made crazy ambitious timetables… what happened to her? Well, she took a step back from the chaos & realization dawned, learnt from her mistakes, and stopped trying to emulate every topper from every talk she heard or article she read. She analyzed herself, her strengths & weaknesses and chose a plan that was best suited for her. Cut to the present: She’s calm, optimistic & is well on her way to achieve her big (& small) goals. The lesson? You do you! Always! 


How about you?  Are you planning pragmatically? Are you striving for improvements everyday? Are you in it to win it?

Charles Bukowski had written: “If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don’t even start. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that.”


So will you go all the way?

Tell us in the comments! We’re eager to know!


PS: You’re doing great! Keep going. 


Until next time!