Do you know that acute, overwhelming feeling that dawns on you when you realize another deadline is approaching and you’re probably not going to meet it? You. Can’t. Make it. Again. Are you already feeling the sick waves of stress and anxiety washing over you as you imagine the situation?
Then, there’s no time to waste. Before these waves swallow you up completely and turn your life into a never-ending nightmare of constant stress, you need to learn how to handle your deadlines properly. And you better do that while you’re still a student. Otherwise, the problem will persist into the future, possibly disrupting your whole career.
The good news is, there are a lot of ways to nip it in the bud. In the following paragraphs, we’ll give you some tips on how to do it. However, chances are that another deadline is hanging over you right now as you’re reading this…
So, What if the Deadline Is Too Near?
Sadly, some people only start worrying about deadlines when there’s hardly any time left to take action. Luckily, students can always find a reliable online paper writing service. But what if you’re failing to meet your deadline at work?
In the latter case, the worst thing you can do is to ignore the problem. If it’s come to the point when meeting the set date is impossible, you have to inform your employer and try to work out a solution. But of course, it’s much better to not let it come to this.
So, how do you learn to manage your deadlines properly? Below are a few foolproof tips.
Best Tips on How to Manage Deadlines
Being based on research and personal experience of many people, these tips will help you avoid stress and stay ahead of the game.
While this may sound boring, planning really is key. Even if you don’t start doing your task right away upon getting it, you should still be aware of certain things. So, as soon as you get the task, ask yourself these vital questions:
- How much time exactly do I have left until the deadline?
- How difficult is the task?
- How much time do I really need to complete it?
- When is the critical moment after which the task can’t be put off any longer?
Once you have all the answers, put both the due date and the last possible start date on your calendar and set a reminder for the latter. Even if you only do this much, it will be better than nothing.
Divide and Conquer
The human brain doesn’t like big complex tasks and tends to sabotage them. However, when presented with smaller, manageable assignments, it works more efficiently, research proves.
So, if you have a complex assignment – like an essay or a big project – and you don’t know how to approach it, the best thing is to break it into parts. For an essay, it may look like this:
- do research;
- outline the structure;
- write a(n): introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion;
- write a bibliography.
Then, these sub-tasks can be broken down into even smaller ones if needed. This way, bit by bit, it will be much easier to “conquer” the whole assignment.
However, it can still be tricky if the assignment is too difficult – for example, writing an expository essay can be an onerous chore for many students. In this case, an expository essay writing service can help you out. But you should still be prepared to give a writer clear guidelines to achieve the best results.
Set Additional Deadlines
Ideally, your deadline should not be the only benchmark. To work more effectively, you also need some additional dates that you’ll have to set for yourself.
First of all, it’s important to set a “mini-deadline” for each part of the assignment in order to keep track of the progress. On completion of each part, mark the correspondent sub-task as “done”. This way, you’ll give your brain a reward and will know exactly how much work you have left at the same time. Moreover, you’ll know early on whether you’re risking falling behind schedule.
Procrastination is arguably enemy #1 when it comes to doing work on time. Research has proven it time and again, but if you’re still doubting, just remember how many times it was that you sat down to do a given task and ended up scrolling your Instagram newsfeed or even playing Minecraft or something…
While beating procrastination is easier said than done, there are some quick tricks that can help. Among the best ones is using popular anti-procrastination and focusing apps like Forest, Focus-To-Do, Offtime, and the like. However, if you want to really beat procrastination on a large scale, you might need to learn some techniques or take a full-length course.
Finally, if you feel like you really need a break, you can at least be procrastinating with a purpose. For example, reading essay reviews at https://nocramming.com/ so that you’ll know where to go the next time you can’t meet a deadline on your own. This leads us to the next tip…
Don’t Give Up
Breaking deadlines is a bad, bad thing, but failing to complete the task altogether is even worse. Therefore, never give up until all is lost (and that is seldom the case). More often than not, there is still some solution to the problem, even if you’ve got scarcely any time left.
For instance, you can:
- ask for help or delegate;
- negotiate a new date;
- bite the bullet, pull an all-nighter, and complete the task at the last minute.
Whatever you choose, it will be much better than admitting total defeat. However, beware of resorting to these options too often unless you want to tarnish your reputation or ruin your health.
Being able to meet deadlines is a crucial skill both in college and at work. However, it doesn’t come naturally to many people. Some even get surprisingly good at doing things at the last minute and make it their lifestyle.
Yet, this is destructive. Moreover, this way, you never know when you’ll eventually fail. Therefore, it’s much wiser to learn the art of meeting deadlines early on. The tips above are there to help you!