College is all about meeting deadlines. But, it doesn’t always need to be a frantic Ohhh noooo I will never get anything done because I have too many things to do!!! Throughout my college years (especially being a journalism major), I have learned to defeat deadlines and always get things done. Here are some of my tips:
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Calendars are your buddy. Whether it’s on your phone, in a planner, or hanging above a desk– map it all out. It makes things so much easier when you’re able to see the whole picture and everything is in context. Sometimes we miss deadlines because time flies when you’re having fun (let’s be real, in college we have a lot of fun). When you’re sitting in class and the professor announces a deadline of March 31 for a project, that might seems weeks away and so much time. However, more often than not, it’ll sneak up right when you have a million other deadlines to meet. Having a visual of what is going on around specific dates makes planning ten times more convenient.
Have a vision of what you want to achieve
Whether it’s a paper, article, or presentation, brainstorm what you want to focus on. Write down a bulleted list of what you hope to achieve, and then use it as a checklist. The sooner you know exactly what you need to break down, the sooner you can get started. Without even really thinking about it, you create a timeline to meet your deadline. Sometimes, this doesn’t even have to be very detailed. Simply writing down a general outline is enough to serve as a great propeller to get started (that’s often the hardest part). I’m a visual person so after I make this list, I’ll keep it on the desktop of my laptop, or tape it to my wall.
Know what you can do
This goes along with having a vision. Know what parts you can do well, and know what parts may be a bit of a challenge. When you’re breaking down what you need to do, keeping these things in mind will help when you’re delegating times to work on specific tasks. Being prepared for tackling a difficult part will ensure that you won’t get caught up with putting too much time into something else.
Airplane mode or do not disturb
My friends love group chats. My friend group, family members and roommates all have a group chats in my phone. I am the type of person (I think most people are nowadays) that is always near their phone. However, whenever I am trying to work on meeting a deadline, those are the times when my phone seems to light up with notifications! During my sophomore year of college, I realized that simply turning on “do not disturb” solved all of my problems. If you feel like do not disturb is not enough to be checking on your phone, turn it on airplane mode and set it far away. It works, I promise.
Work when you know you’ll be your sharpest
Sometimes we make the mistake of blocking off a specific time to work on something, only to find out that we’re drawing blanks for whatever reason. Maybe you’re hungry, distracted by your surroundings, or your brain is in need of a break. I find that I feel the most motivated and eager to get projects done after I eat lunch or right before I go to bed. I feel my most energized and creative self. Play around with times. If you already have a routine, then work on the more difficult parts of a meeting a deadline during times when you know you’ll be motivated to get it done.