How to prioritize your tasks while preparing for exams?

Once there was a race between a rabbit and a tortoise. The rabbit, by its very nature, was extremely fast. He could almost run by the speed of light. The tortoise, on the other hand, was slow. He couldn’t even run by 1/10th of the speed of tortoise. Everyone thought that the rabbit will win. The stage was set. The audience took their seat. The cheer girls were dancing. A light cold breeze was flowing. The sun hid his eyes beneath the sheet of cloud, because he didn’t want to see the tortoise lose that badly. But there was something unusual which was unknown to the common people. The tortoise was slow, yet wise. He believed in smart work rather than hard work. The rabbit was overconfident. One year ago, when this race was announced, the rabbit had become a self-proclaimed winner. He thought that he knew the fate. He enjoyed, he danced, he laughed, he flirted, he facebooked a lot during that year. But tortoise was doing something else. He had a plan. A killer plan. Instead of wasting his time, he worked day and night for a purpose, which was, defeating nature by winning that race. He knew that he can never win that race on foot. So, he used his mind…

Rabbit came to the race track on foot. Dressed up like a rock star. Tortoise came after him & when he did, almost everyone’s jaws touched the ground. He had chiseled his shell in an aerodynamic fashion. He was riding a small vehicle with rocket boosters! Since race rules weren’t specific about these things, so no one could put up an objection & tortoise knew it. What happened next, is know to everyone till date…


The moral of the story is- In this world of competition, work smart. And even more than that, prioritize your every day tasks.

When we wake up in the morning, we rarely think of everything that we have to do that day. As the day passes by & things keep coming up, we get engaged in it. But is it the right way?

That’s a big NO!

So, what should we do? Especially when you are preparing for some competitive examination like GATE, IES, IAS etc.

You have to do one thing- “Think”!

Yes. Think about that activity. Think what are you going to achieve by that? I will tell you what I do in such cases. I think of an activity in two terms- short term effects & long term effects. Obviously, long term effects hold more value as compared to short term ones. Moreover, will it somehow help you in achieving your final goal?

Let’s take some simple examples-

(1)    Lets say you have been studying for a long time & now you want to watch a movie. That sounds good. But wait! Let’s think. The short term effects can be relaxation & happiness. But it also leads to fatigue to eyes also. Long term benefits are nothing as such. Alternatives of watching movie could be playing a table tennis game. While in short term it helps you in relaxing, increasing blood circulation & increases your social index, in long term it may help you in sharping your TT skills, team spirit & leadership qualities. Moreover, a healthy body is always necessary to clear any competitive exam.

It may sound like too much of ‘nerdism’ but its really cool if you apply it in your daily life. You will start feeling the benefits very soon.

So, this is the final mantra- “Always think of the short term & long term effects of your activity before indulging in it. What will be the impact of that activity on your ultimate goal? If you really start doing it, you will feel that you are getting closer to your aim faster than others.”


Before I end this post, a few exercises for you. Comment below the answer to these choices along with why will you go with it?


(i)                  Facebook or Chatting with friends

(ii)                Listening to music or Watching a movie

(iii)               Taking a dance class or a guitar class

(iv)              Learning driving or Learning Karate

(v)                Going on an outing or staying and taking rest in room itself.


All the best 🙂


9 thoughts on “How to prioritize your tasks while preparing for exams?

  1. Hari

    Hi sagar,

    Could you please tell me how to prepare for gate while working for a PVT company.
    I am struggling to follow my timetable .


    1. Hi Hari,

      That depends on a few factors-
      (1) How much time do you get after job?
      (2) How much energetic do you feel after returning?
      (3) Can you spare time during office time?
      (4) Do you have study materials available to you?

      Answering these questions will help in getting to the final reply.

      All the best 🙂


  2. sumedha

    hello sir,
    i am preparing for ies 2014, electrical. i have scored only 50% of what i had expected in gate and this has shattered my confidence. with just two months time left for ies, could you please help me with a strategy? as in i had already completed the gate preparation… and i still need to prepare communications and other subjects which were not a part of gate. this is worrying me as i am now, after the result, not confident of what i have already studied. as a result, the subjects which are left are suffering! please help me sir.


  3. Surabhi Panwar

    Hi! This is Surabhi from final year EC. Its really nice to read your posts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts through this blog!


  4. Kannam naidu

    Sir.. I need a job. So i should choose job ri8 nw. Bt i am nt intrestd. Preparation nd get a job in p.s.u is posble while during working in job…is it Posble to manage time for both job nd preparatn? So and so.. My mind bloast sir. Plz suggest me


  5. Kannam naidu

    Sir, i dnt undrstand hw to plan my carrer.. My long term goal is any Nw i am placed in l.n.t. Waing for cal leter. Nw what should i do join l.n.t r preparng for p.s.u s. I am 2012 pasout. Plz help me sir.


    1. Hi Kannam,

      You should decide your preferences first. If you want a job asap then join the company else you can go for one year preparation also.

      All the best 🙂



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