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Official : Post Daily Routine & Self Assessment (Mains 2020)

Neyawn , peacefulwarrior and 66 others like this


Great to see the enthusiasm :) Just one thing I would want to say - Guys, don't pick any new source in the last moment. Trust me, in past 10 years it has never happened that someone has picked up a final compilation and all questions have come from there.

Focus of Previous Years Papers, Books and Whatever Test Series / Papers you are doing.  In the end we have to revise such that we are turning the pages only. 

While having food, turn the pages of PYQs with the confidence that you know everything. And by 20th also revise your CSAT PY Questions and resolve the questions.

P.S. This is the last moment. 

Naadan_Parinda, peacefulwarrior and 29 others like this

Still in post-prelims inertia, unable to start anything. Had set a schedule since 13th but unable to keep up with sheer volume of work to be done. Don’t know how you guys are managing. Posting my first schedule today:

world history notes- 3 hrs

post independence consolidation- 3hrs

awfg- 1 hr

lets hope things pan out well today. Hoping to get much needed momentum going.

my question to you guys is how you’re keeping yourself self motivated and avoiding procrastination during the day. Thanks

That inertia is a horrible cycle... been having bouts since last year but with decreasing frequency and duration. Some things that help me avoid it:

1. Work WITH yourself, not against yourself. Find the balance between forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to, and humouring yourself. Figure out distinct moods you experience and what kind of topic works best with each. You might find a pattern. You can then arrange items from your daily list accordingly. For example, I realised that I can’t get into anything with a lot of depth first thing in the morning. After I have one quick tick on my whiteboard from an easier topic, I am energised to get into something that’ll take a few hours. So I started doing discrete ethics topics first thing in the morning, followed by a good long optional sesh. After lunch to avoid the break extending into the next session, I make the next session short so I’m under pressure. If my plan says “03.00 to 04.00” with a small topic instead of “03.00 to 06.00” with a big one, I’m more likely to sit down to work at 3pm since the heat is on. It’s like a project where you’re both the manager and the only team member. So you have to understand how your mind works and manipulate/direct it into working.

2. See if making shorter slots works for you. And don’t be too ambitious! I usually give myself 10-15 minutes more for a topic than I think I’ll take, so I get a feeling of accomplishment when I have 10 minutes left - I’m writing this on a break like that(“Fake it till you make it”) . The time you lose in these short breaks will be much less than the massive chunk of time you lose if you’re not feeling motivated and energised.

3. Sit down for as long as it takes and write down every little bit of work that has to be done. Every single nook and corner of the overwhelming labyrinth in front of you. Then organise it into parts that make sense to you. Write down dates for the next couple of weeks. Figure out how much and what needs to be done for each. Write that down beside the date. Be honest with how much you can do in one day - this is crucial. Now step back and look at that beauty of a plan. That’s your torchlight. You just have to keep moving forward, one day at a time. Worry only about one day. If you fail to finish 100% of one day, try to adjust it in the next two. If you fail at 3 days, the pressure will show up again. Either your targets were too high or your daily time clocked too low. Honestly identify which. Make the plan again. You’ll find that you are getting closer to realising the plan with every iteration as you get used to it. Sooner or later you’ll be finishing it exactly down to the last minute. It’s a beautiful feeling. Just gotta hang in there until you reach it!

4. Make your reward proportionate to and conditional on the work put in. If I’ve successfully finished my morning session targets I happily watch an episode of Bandish Bandits over lunch. If I haven’t then I finish lunch quickly and try to make up for at least some of the time lost (so I watch quick B99 excerpts :p)

5. Figure out one area in the whole syllabus that always has your back. That you’ll feel like doing even when you don’t want to do anything else. This is your best friend who’ll never let you down. Use it when you can’t do anything else but also don’t want to give up. At the very least you won’t have wasted time.

6. Talk to people when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that the world will still go on even if you finish only 30 pages instead of 50. Usually talking to friends/family - people who seem strangely normal to me because they’re not obsessing over a whiteboard - hits a reset button in my head. Studying becomes much easier once the feeling of being overwhelmed passes. 

7. If the day refuses to pick up no matter what you do, ruthlessly kill it. I just go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it... yet. (A quote khaas from my favourite childhood book). An early start the next day plus the guilt of the previous day usually makes it a much more productive one. 

You’re certainly not alone in feeling this way. All the above worked for me, it may not for you. But you can figure out things like this that do. After all there’s no wrong way to study as long as you end up learning. Good luck and thank you for reading if you lasted this long :)

Naadan_Parinda, ssver2 and 27 others like this

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Yesterday was good! Could appear only for one sectional test and prepared for the second. Appeared for the 2nd one in the first half today. 

Now only half day left. Will take it easy. 

1. Plan for next 12 days

2. Watch one CA lecture

3. Short Notes on WPT (last 3)

The second half was mostly chill. 

It's a new Dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life. 

WPT: Consolidate last 3

Indian Society: 2 sub-topics

Post Ind: 1 hour

Ethics: EI

Culture: 2 Q-A

No ethics, Society only half. Rest done. 

Target for tomorrow:

1. Short Notes: WPT ( Middle 3)

2. Post Ind and Culture: Daily Tidbits

3. Society: Pov and Pop

Done except Society. WPT is heavy.

For tomorrow!

1. WPT (remaining part)

2. Post-Ind & Culture: small chunks

3. Revision for Sec Test 

No revision. Rest done. Making short notes of Plato, Aristotle etc. is tougher than putting entire toothpaste back in tube. 

Target for tomorrow:

1. Revise WPT notes

2. Society: 3 hours

3. Ethics: EI 

Could complete only half of it. UPSC told me no need to study more, ever. It was my second and agewise last attempt. 

No regrets. Gave my all. Was in full warrior mode with my notes, short notes, audio revisions. There was uncertainty regarding prelims, but I deliberately cultivated the virtue of performing amidst uncertainty. Was almost successful. Life has it's own turns.

The people on this thread have been super inspiring. After the results, everyone in my family was so happy. May be they wanted to cheer me up. Now back to wife and life. 

I love my current job a lot too. Jitne armaan Hain, jarur niklenge. 

All the best to forum people. Give your best. Keep your options open. Have a great life. 

This prep made me revive my good habits of pranayam, meditation, controlling mind chatter. The skills learnt will be extremely useful. Chapter closed. Logging out. 

Sarve sukhinah bhavantu, sarve santu niramaya! May we we all realize the true purpose of our lives. 

Oasis, Aurora and 23 others like this
Also, I love the culture of this forum, where faceless, nameless people can freely share whatever is holding them down, and there is an ever reliable community which has their back. It's beautiful. Much love to you guys. :)
Naadan_Parinda, ssver2 and 15 others like this

Was consistently scoring 115+ in FLTs (GS SCORE OPEN, VISION 26, 27, 28, Edukemy open, onlyias open, ABHYAS 1). Complacency crept in. Decided to attempt the Additional FLT of ABHYAAS (vision). And  Boom. Scored a meagre 80. Saw average marks (105). Discussed with friends - everyone got 105 +.

May be i didn't focus well (over confident) or i simply didn't know stuff. But this setback was good enough to bring me back from the comforts of my couch. Lesson learnt. 

" He who is content with what has been done is an obstacle in the Path of progress "

Will try not to relax or become complacent anymore as we enter the final 30 days of this prolonged prelims battle ! When the Prelims cutoff prediction thread does become active at around 5.00 PM on 4th of October, I hope to happily type in my score and contribute, rather than sobbing/crying/ boozing. or contemplating giving up.

cheers mates !

peacefulwarrior, MatildasMissHoney and 15 others like this
This question is to those who are clocking 9+ hours consistently - how do you manage to sit for long hours? I mean physically, how do you keep going? I max out at about 7-8 hours. Also been experiencing tremendous lower back pain of late due to continuous sitting. It's come to the point where I literally have to lie on the floor for relief. This shouldn't be happening at 23 years of age. 


as soon as u wake up start studying as suggested by newyan sir(ab chahe 10 baje uth rahe ho ya 12 baje) no brush no tea bas splash some water on ur face and start studying

back dukh rhi hai toh ghumte ghumte padlo

neend arrhi hai to 20 mnt ka alarm lagake so jao fir chai banao aur pado

man nhi kar raha toh subject change krlo test dedo

bas yhi ilaj hai iska,keech lo ek mahina hai

mightyraju, Naadan_Parinda and 14 others like this


1. Went on an online shopping spree. That time of the year is here. 

2. Made notes on 2 topics of GS1. 

3. Feeling exhausted from last 2-3 days due to fever. So slept for like 14 hrs. Yes, that is possible.

Though never bothered on clocking more hours but this is like really less given the amount of work. 

Brain is like:

hum karte hein prabandh Pankaj Tripathi mirzapur meme

So, the schedule begins to get that flow


1) GS 1.7 to 1.10

2) Geography: topics correlated with 1) - Highlights from Majid Hussain+ Khullar

3) GS4 8.3 to 8.6 + GS2.16 (similar topics)

4) Answer writing: 3 GS+ 2 Geography 

5) Vision August CA: topics from above themes.

6) Yoga- Parents feel my brain will damage if I won't. So yeah why not.

As Trump would say, "Believe me, its gonna be huge(yuge?)" :P

Naadan_Parinda, ssver2 and 13 others like this

Will be sharing my progress here for the upcoming 27 days in the run up to Prelims 2020. 

I have divided the period till Oct 2, 2020 into 9 blocks of 3 days each

The plan looks like this till Sep 20, 2020. 

MatildasMissHoney, ssver2 and 13 others like this

30th August 2020:-

Had target of revising too many tests early in the morning but could not do so:-


1) Raat mein decide nahi kiya tha ki karna kya hai

2) Morning mein kisi tarah se mann ko maar ke padhna start nahi kiya(in first hour)

3) Kal raat mein thoda late tak padha and it disrupted my morning schedule

The most important thing is balance:-

1) Balance in believing what you believe

2) Balance in not following the crowd or some friends and just start doing some falana dhimkaana things

3) Balance in not taking any suggestions in last hours

Today I commit to myself that I will be in full control of myself for next 30 days. Koi kuch bhi kahe kare mai wahi karunga jo maine decide kiya hai. These are my days.

mightyraju, Naadan_Parinda and 13 others like this

So, a little good news: after torturous 2 weeks with the Covid 19 finally I have tested -ve today. 

Haven't touched or thought about studies in a while. But now as the results are also here. Time to start again, albeit slowly. 


1) Population Geography 

2) Society from Vision monthlies

Answer writing will have to wait for other days. 

Also, Ashtami is here so prayers to the mother goddess: 

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु मातृ-रूपेण संस्थिता। 

नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥

Oasis, Aurora and 13 others like this

Red pandas, when they are 'endangered', which is like all the time. :P

MatildasMissHoney, dalpha and 13 others like this
Done with speculating cutoff and taking rest. This year's Prelims gave me a shock that it took some time to recover. But I guess it's time to move on and prepare for Mains, irrespective of the result.

I'll also update my daily routine here. I'll try to update the micro-topics that I cover daily. Feel free to ask any question from those topics*. This exercise will ensure that I'm myself clear with the topics.

If possible others can also do the same.

*Conditions apply.
mightyraju, ssver2 and 12 others like this

How energy draining is any stage... Oh my god prelims didn't give any reason to smile but gave a lot of health complications! It's too tough too get going again in the same vigour! 

But here is my schedule! 

Will complete Unit 12 of Ancient India along with maps of Previous year.. 

Itna hi ho jaye toh bhagwan zindabad

Naadan_Parinda, ssver2 and 12 others like this

iskool said

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bhai how you are doing map work? source/tarika/some samples plzzz

As my optional is geography, it’s a part of our syllabus. Anyway these are some sample map works (note: we only need relative locations, not the exact one):

1. For political map of India, I’ve divided map into grids by drawing major longitude and latitudes. Then the capitals/important places of states relative to these lines.

 Let’s take the PYQ, where it had asked the relative location of Lucknow and Hyderabad. The idea was to know if candidates know that there is sharp turn in peninsular part of India. Similarly, the question of Delhi and Bangalore being on the same longitude. You can also see here that New Delhi is North to all the capitals of Northeast states.

2. Relative location of countries on world map. Overlapping for Countries which have shared boundaries.

3. Map of island countries. Idea is to remember the important one and their relative location with respect to other islands and latitudes/longitudes.

Hope this helps.

peacefulwarrior, Dora-the_Explorer and 12 others like this

30/8 {32/60}

*Was unwell for 3 days (not corona). Hope I get my energy back. 


  1. 2hr polity constitutional bodies
  2. Ca environment /eco/socio - mar/apr
  3. Modern india {1/3}
  4. Polity practice qn 1hr
  5. Environment practice questions 1hr


Ye khamosh mijazi tumhe jeene nahi degi,

Is daur me jeena hai toh kauhram macha do.


mightyraju, Naadan_Parinda and 11 others like this

1:00-4:00 neo classical synthesis Done

5:00-8:00 world history  Done

9:00-10:00 Essay Done

Woke up late because we slept late. Slept late because our brain would only agree that the ghost is gone when sunlight hits the windows. 

Yes, I don’t do well sleeping alone. 

Naadan_Parinda, ssver2 and 11 others like this
9:30-12:00 Money and Banking Done
1:00-2:00 Money and banking Done 
5:00-8:00 CA Done
9:00-11:00 Ethics 

Oh I chill a lot@Patootie 😂. Give me a new KDrama of bogummie and you’ll see me only intensely fangirling him. 

Yesterday, it seems my Father learnt a new word-strategy. He’s been parroting it around me for the whole day. 

ssver2, Aurora and 11 others like this
I've also decided to not see what others are posting, as I get distracted by the sources others are referring.
ssver2, dalpha and 11 others like this

See you tommorow Night. ❤❤❤❤

MatildasMissHoney, ssver2 and 11 others like this
» show previous quotes» show previous quotes» show previous quotes

Thank you so much!! I could only find the daily The Hindu news analysis videos on their YouTube though - are there separate topic-based ones?

List of Articles - DNS, May 2019- Aug 2020.pdf

DNS LINK January 2018 to May 2019.pdf

Right, so this is the index of all the articles that have been discussed from Jan 2018 onwards till Prelims 2020. I think this is possibly one of the most comprehensive indices of all relevant current affairs issues, simply because it comes from the average newspaper. They've included links to all their videos as well, article-wise. PDF links to their daily notes are also available on Youtube. The notes are usually of a good quality, but I don't recommend reading all of it, simply because the point behind this is maximising efficiency, and making best use of time. However, where necessary, snippets from the PDFs can be added on to your notes.

You'll need to do a bit of digging from within the index (as in, if you want to holistically do issues about River Ganga, Ctrl+F "Ganga") and identify the topics you would choose to do. You would also need to be proactive in adding points not discussed to add value to your answer. But I think, if one can do that, and effectively prepare the important ones, preparation would be more holistic rather than doing them straight from a Mains 365.

Pro-tips: Watch the videos at 1.5-2.0 x speed depending on necessity. Go from October, 2020 backwards.

Naadan_Parinda, ssver2 and 11 others like this
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