If you are a college student, you know that balancing your social, academic, and health life is highly important. Besides focusing on that, you must also respect all of your school’s requirements and deadlines. We know that there is a lot of pressure that comes with attending university – but if you get past these four years, you’ll gain considerable experience, and build a successful career.
Many students complain that “meeting their academic deadlines is close to impossible.” If you are among them, you are definitely in the right place. We will present you 7 tips on how to get your priorities straight, and nail those targets.
1. Prioritize Your Work
The first step you need to take is prioritize your tasks. Clara Kent, former freelancer at Marshall Freelance, a major assignment writing service, shares her opinion. “If you have a clear idea of which assignments are the most important to you, everything becomes easier. Just make sure you plan things the right way.”
Some quick advice on how to do it:
• Make a list of all of your tasks, and write down the details, including your deadlines
• Now ask yourself: are there any tasks that need immediate investigation? Is there something that cannot be postponed? If you are unable to find a quick answer, think about the consequences of not finishing a task on time. If the repercussions will have a highly negative impact on your academic life, put that task on your prioritized list.
• Next, think about your preferences: are there any tasks that you could easily finish, because you are truly passionate about the subject? If so, don’t put them on your prioritized list. When we enjoy the process, we are able to finish assignments much faster.
Tip: Be flexible in your approach, don’t overstress. Adapt to each new situation, and make the best out of it. Think positive, and stay engaged in your work.
2. Be Realistic About Your Abilities
I know you are a determined person, but remember: setting goals that are too high will impair your ability to finish any task. You don’t want to end up disappointed! Be realistic about your abilities and capabilities. Have some common sense when setting objectives.
• Avoid setting unrealistic goals and aiming too high; instead, set SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. If you think you’ll be able to finish three essays, two research papers, and one book review in one weekend, think again.
• Don’t underestimate the time that it takes you to complete one task. Take your time to work on each one of your assignments thoroughly.
• Don’t compare yourself to other students. Stick to your own pace and routine.
• Keep your goals to a minimum. Stick to no more than 3 big goals per week.
Tip: use writing to remember your deadlines and goals. Hang motivational quotes on your bedroom walls. Do what it needs to succeed.
3. Create a Schedule
How can you meet deadlines if you don’t have a clue how your schedule looks like?
• Write down a study plan
• Plan your studying hours throughout the day for increased efficiency
• Create blocks of time
• Get enough sleep and food to stay productive
• Set due dates
• Set up to-do lists
• Write down an approximate time you think you’ll need for each one of your tasks
Tip: respect your plans, don’t give up on tasks or go to sleep. While we are all tempted to procrastinate, only the few of us who stay on top of our work will climb the success ladder.
4. Take Breaks
Working smart means taking regular breaks! You will increase your productivity by designing some free time between working on projects. According to Time, we all have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.
• When taking breaks, step away from your computer and desk; do something that you enjoy
• If at the library, open up a conversation with a stranger, or do something that is relaxing to you
• Don’t work more than 50 minutes at a time; take a 10-minute break right after
• Don’t nap throughout the day; rather than doing that, maximize your night sleep – go to bed early!
• During your break, do something that helps you focus without tiring you: meditate, do some yoga, read something interesting
Tip: taking breaks does not equal lost time; it means you are trying you best to stay productive. Don’t blame yourself for pausing from time to time, and taking care of your mind and body.
Rushing to finish your assignments due to lack of time is so tiring! You should be taking your time, and breathing while you work. If you worry too much and speed through your assignments, your tasks’ quality will suffer. Therefore, breathe in, breathe out, and start ahead of time. Be patient in your work and stick to your organized schedule for excellent results.
6. Track Your Progress
Seeing where you stand and understanding where you are going is very important. You’ll want to measure your performance by tracking your progress! If you don’t do that, how will you know whether you’ve became better at meeting deadlines?
• Keep a notebook – write all of your deadlines down; on the right of the page, leave a blank space for checking your tasks after you’ve finished them
• Note what date you were supposed to finish a project, and the date you’ve actually finished it
• Compare your old results with your new ones, and see where you are headed
Tip: if you don’t see any progress, don’t freak out. It takes time and patienceto develop new habits. Work on your skills step by step, and understand that time-management is a composure game.
7. Ask for Help
Let your closest friends know that you are trying to develop better habits. Tell them about your deadlines, and ask them to check on you every now and then. Having someone monitoring your work is beneficial, as it keeps your motivated. Also, ask for feedback from your mentors and professors on the work and projects that you do. Getting external opinions is always rewarding.
In order to meet your academic deadlines, stay organized, design a schedule, prioritize your work, set SMART goals, take regular breaks, track your progress, and ask for help and feedback from your peers. You got this, good luck!