A breezy entry in the evergreen genre of student self-help guides.
Organized around the nigh-universal experience of academic procrastination, this practical vade mecum dives into any number of related topics: time management, homework, study skills, planning, creating routines, organizing, avoiding distractions, and motivation. Aimed explicitly at high school and college students, the text pays scant attention to psychological or scientific aspects–despite multiple offhand references to ‘research, ‘ no citations are provided–instead concentrating on practical tips. First-person prose addressed directly to ‘you’ sports a chatty, nonjudgmental, even occasionally vulgar tone, with the earnest, slightly strained hipness of an adult eager to be perceived as cool. Every short chapter is packed to bursting with sample charts, worksheets, questionnaires, suggested playlists, recommended products, supplies, and apps, along with personal anecdotes (some of dubious relevance) drawn from the author’s career as an academic and life coach. The relentlessly peppy ‘just do it’ approach treats procrastination, disorganization, and similar difficulties as simple matters of technique, practice, and willpower, which many will find inspiring; unfortunately, only the briefest of nods is given to potential mental health issues or other possible explanations, such as non-neurotypical patterns of thought. Like similar titles, this will probably be most helpful when paired with sustained personal support and encouragement.
Exactly the sort of thing hopeful parents and counselors will press upon struggling students.–Kirkus Reviews
— “Journal” (8/1/2020 12:00:00 AM)
This guide for high school and college students offers practical tips to eliminate procrastination through time management and organization. Josel, who has 15 years of experience as an academic/life coach, advises students to use charts to block out time for assignments, after-school activities, and chores. A chapter on avoiding distractions suggests that students turn off autoplay to avoid binge-watching, close all browser windows that aren’t related to homework, and use apps to block social media notifications while studying. The section on motivation recommends facing fears about failure and getting comfortable making mistakes. Other helpful tips include using color-coded materials for each subject, creating a ‘launching pad’ near the front door to gather materials needed for the following day, forming study groups to increase accountability, and breaking down big projects into smaller pieces with scheduled time to work on each section. Although useful, the subject matter is fairly dry, so the target audience probably won’t read this cover to cover. If they browse through chapters and download time-saving apps including Evernote, which shares school notes across all of their devices, it will still improve their productivity. The text doesn’t address learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but young adults are advised to talk to parents and counselors if they suspect they need help. The text’s conversational style is direct, jovial, and nonjudgmental. Charts, graphs, and quotes break up the text. VERDICT A solid purchase for high school and college collections.–School Library Journal
— “Journal” (9/1/2020 12:00:00 AM)