Keeping calm when the deadlines approach…

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Are you one of those people who hit panic mode as soon as deadlines start approaching?

Deadlines are one of them things you know you will eventually have to do, but it’s just a case of deciding when. I have always been quite good at sticking to my deadlines though, that doesn’t stop me stressing every time they pile up. I would be a hypocrite if I sat here now telling you to not get stressed. Only now, in my third and final year of university I am learning to have a bit more control over how stressed I get. Taking the pressure off yourself is the key – believe me it works! Here are a few tips of mine…

1.Set yourself realistic limits

How much time can you dedicate? Do you have things coming up that might distract you? Be true to yourself.

Now, in my last semester I am not in as much as previous years due to the focus being on the final project. I begin my week with a 9am-12pm lecture and I have a break between 12pm and 2pm before my next lecture begins, this allows me time to do two hours of work and catch up on emails etc.

After a busy day,  I don’t tend to do anything else on a monday I leave the gym and uni work and start fresh on a Tuesday. I tend to start with the gym and then spend the day at the library and meeting up with my personal tutor.

I schedule my working days to be two hours on a Monday, all day Tuesday and all day Wednesday. On a Thursday and Friday I work until late afternoon so I aim to do some work in the evenings, admittedly this doesn’t often happen unless of course I’m in a productive mood.

As long as I do what I can at the beginning of the week I am happy with that and then if I do extra on a Thursday and Friday then that is a bonus I suppose!

2.Focus on one task 

This was my biggest mistake I am guilty of having different lecture notes for different subjects scattered around me and I would sit there with my head in my hands. Not only did I confuse myself with it all but I think it showed in my work because my full concentration didn’t rely on one main thing.

It is only recently I have started to improve this, I now focus on one assignment at a time and do everything for that assignment before even looking at another. For example I have a deadline on the 28th of this month so everything I have been doing has been geared towards that. Once that is submitted I will move on to the next deadline and focus purely on that.

I believe it is all about timings and not putting all your eggs in one basket.

3.Start early

This doesn’t mean start before you have not been to a single class. Of course, it is always best to start early so you have more time to get it right, but only start when you feel like you know exactly what you are required to do (you will save yourself time).

I find the earlier you start the more time you have for the research and the planning, the better the plan the better the piece. Giving yourself extra time will allow you do your very best and you’ll feel much happier for it.

4.Meet with your tutor

You might feel like an absolute pest constantly emailing asking for tutorials but what does it mater? If you are going to feel calmer and better for it then go ahead and do it.

I never used to meet with tutors because I didn’t want to bother them and be that pest. This semester I have met every week with my tutor even if it is ten minutes every little helps. You don’t necessarily have to meet them regarding work it can be for advice when you are feeling stressed or even to check you are on the right path (my tutor once recommended I went and got ‘sloshed).

The more you see your tutor the more you can improve and the calmer you will feel.

5. YOU deserve a break

You are not superman or superwoman, deadlines are hard work and you need to reward yourself once in a while.

When you have submitted an assignment or even when you have done a chunk of work towards it…

Go out.

Get your nails done.

Treat yourself to unhealthy food.

Have that glass of wine.

Do what you feel would be a reward and then get back to the work the next day and you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next part.

 

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