As a student it is inevitable that you are going to come across deadlines at some point in your time at university. Personally, I think I deal with deadlines pretty well and compared to some of my classmates and friends who seem to leave everything to the last minute, I am quite proud of how I’ve handled essays and getting things in on time this past year and a half. I’m the kind of person who will have an essay done and ready to be sent in weeks before it’s actually due otherwise I’ll be super stressed out and will never get it finished. In this post I’d like to share with you my hints and tips on how to stay on top of your work at university (or just deadlines in general).
My first and most important thing to think about when it comes to deadlines is to make sure you know exactly when all your deadlines are. Once you know how much work you have to do and when you need to do it by, you can set up a plan on how you are going to achieve them. At the start of each semester I looked through all my student handbooks and made a nice list of all the essays and exam I needed to do by the end of the semester. It looks a little something like this…
By splitting it up like this it felt like I had a lot less work to do and things seemed to flow much more smoothly. I would then cross off the ones I had finished and handed in and the feeling of relief when I finally got to cross another one off was so good. By doing this I could figure when I needed to start each assignment to get it done on time. This meant I had plenty of time and knew exactly what I was doing so I was a lot less stressed about the deadlines.
My next tip is to have breaks (but not too many!) Something I struggle with and probably always will do is keeping focused. It depends on each individual person but generally everyone needs a break now and again. Something that really helped with actually writing my essay is the first tip because if I had plenty of time to do it, then I could take my time and do a small amount every day and not worry about having to write all day non-stop. Breaks allow you to re-focus your mind and wind down for a little bit meaning your work will be much higher quality overall as you’re not rushing. I try to do at least half an hour at a time and have a short break doing something fun to reward myself for doing hard work. If you are going to use short times like this though, make sure the work you do within the time is good quality. I like to do something productive in my breaks and not just scroll through Facebook . I’d suggest investing in a little colouring book or maybe even read something to keep your mind in a creative zone so you can jump straight back into working again. My colouring book has some inspiring quotes in it that help me to focus a bit more too.
Another thing to keep in mind is yourself. It’s easy to forget about yourself when you are stressed about exams or deadlines so make sure you add in some self care* along with your work. Take a few snacks with you when you have a study session and more importantly stay hydrated. This keeps your mind working and helps you to focus. Also, a little treat like a nice bath with some candles after a hard day of studying really helps to relax you and sets you up for a productive day tomorrow.
* I’ll write a blog post on how I use self care soon ♥
I hope this has been helpful and given you some tips on how to handle stressful deadlines but if you have any questions let me know in the comments and I’ll answer them as best as I can!