How to Survive Deadlines at University
Low and behold…I’m writing this at the end of a (mildly) stressful period of DEADLINES. And, in all honesty, this is kinda a reminder to myself to stay on top of things more, so deadlines become less…off-putting. So today I’m going to be sharing my top tips on how to survive deadlines – let’s get into it.
- Start early
Everyone says it…few people do it. By starting early you simply have more time to deal with all the small (and large!) issues that arise when working towards a deadline. You can plan effectively, revise your plan…and write with ease. It also gives you time to leave your piece of work for a few days and come back to it fresh, ready to make improvements.
2. Make your study environment pleasant
There is nothing worse than sitting to do work in an environment which is uninspiring. Take time to de-clutter your workspace before you start. Grab a coffee, a snack, your notes, and you’re ready to go. Personally, I like to make use of focus music too if I need to get some deep work done. If it helps you, try changing up your work environments to keep your brain stimulated. Sometimes venturing out of your room to work challenges you to be productive in whatever space you are going to.
3. Break the task up into do-able chunks
Several thousand words is kinda intimidating, but a few hundred is less so. I always try to write in paragraphs, and a paragraph for me forms a work block. So once I’m done with that paragraph I take a break, grab another coffee, and start the next. By doing this, I zoom through the allotted wordcount without even realising.
4, Pick the time YOU work best
Some people do their best work at night. Others (like myself!) have a brain that refuses to function past 8pm. It’s about choosing to work at a time that best suits you. For me, this looks like early morning study sessions, sat at my desk, away from noise, with focus music on and a strong coffee.
5. Schedule something to look forward to once you have completed the deadline
This is something I have recently started to do, and I find it has given me more of a ‘why’ when completing my deadlines and has kept me motivated to complete them. This doesn’t have to be anything big (mine was taking myself for lunch in the park and then going for a few drinks with a friend in the evening!), but it can be something as small as binge-watching your favourite TV show or taking time to cook yourself your favourite recipe. It can mark your success at completing another deadline and allows you to take a much needed break!