Missing deadlines is one of the most horrifying experiences. Rushing to get things done in the last minute can be exhausting, overwhelming, and some would even say confusing. Not to mention the stressful situation you put yourself in when missing a due date! Experts agree that it can have a negative effect on your overall health and might even distract you from regular duties.
However, some students find that this rush of adrenaline to meet their deadlines is the only thing that keeps them going. If they don't have due dates, they don't get things done. If you are one of them, that's all right. Rushing through assignments last-minute is not wrong – missing them is.
1. Set Fake Deadlines
Set fake deadlines to ensure that you'll never miss the correct one! Expectations will easily influence our behavior, so if we expect more from us in a shorter amount of time, chances are the final deadline will ultimately be respected.
"For example, if you know you have a big deadline coming up in one week, set a goal to complete your work in four days. You'll have the rest three days to add new content, correct for mistakes, and check your work for small errors," writes AssignmentGeek.
Think in perspective: what if you forget something highly important? What if you need extra time to revise? What if your computer decides to break? You need fake deadlines to prevent these things from happening.
2. Stay Organized
If you're not able to stay organized, you'll probably be unable to get good grades and finish your work on time. Being organized means everything, especially in college. Make sure:
- Get a planner and fill it up with all the important deadlines and meetings you have planned.
- Print your syllabus and keep track of your assignments – your professor might not remind you of your work every single class, so you need to stay on top of things.
- Keep your schoolbag organized, whether it's a purse or a backpack. Make sure you have everything you need.
- Buy some color pencils/pens.
- Get a corkboard – besides the cute decoration item you'll have on your wall, you'll also be able to keep track of your assignment in a more structured manner.
- Use Google Calendar on your phone and download any other helpful tools, such as Grammarly, EssayWritingLab, or Citation Styles.
If you need to set up an organized day-by-day schedule to ensure you meet your deadlines, go ahead and do so. However, remember that you should leave time for yourself within that schedule. You need to relax and enjoy time outside of school in order to perform well.
3. Say "No" to Avoid Distractions
If your friends call and ask you out while finishing a paper that's due tomorrow, say NO! As tempting as hanging out with your friends might sound, now it's not the time. You need to keep focused and stay on track of your work if you want good grades.
Also, think in perspectives – say you party today, or hang out with your friends. You go to sleep, wake up tomorrow, and they won't be there anymore. You'll be alone in your room stressing out about the deadline you haven't met. And guess what? You're going to start blaming yourself for not being responsible. So, make sure you don't get there, will ya?
Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
Next important topic we need to discuss is setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. This technique is already used throughout the globe and has become increasingly popular, so if you haven't heard about it, now it's the time. S.M.A.R.T. stands for –
- Specific: keep your goals simple, significant, and clear!
- Measurable: make sure you have a way to measure your goals and give them meaning. Make them motivating!
- Achievable: if your goals are not attainable, you'll never be able to feel happy when looking in retrospective, writes Assignment Holic.
- Relevant: if you cannot find a reason for the goals you've set, start again and set the ones that seem most relevant to you.
- Time-sensitive: here are some questions that can help you figure this one out. "When?" "How will this help me four months from now?" "How will it help me two weeks from now?" "What can I do today to improve this goal?"
This effective tool – S.M.A.R.T. – of setting goals can change your college life if you know how to use it. Check their website for more a comprehensive explanation.
5. Have a Plan B
Last but not least, always have a plan B! Unexpected surprises and setbacks can easily interfere with your performance, so make sure you think in advance about all the possibilities. Think about the things that could go wrong and come up with solutions ahead of time to avoid disaster," writes Anna Berkeley, full-time student and part-time writer at AssignmentMasters.
You won't ever miss a deadline again if you implement all of the above advice in your life. If, however, you are not sure you can do it all, start small. Take baby steps. Implement one goal at a time and see how progress makes its way into your life. Keep your head high and heart strong, you got this!