How to: Manage deadlines

As we approach the Christmas period, it’s not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed by the inundation of assignments; I certainly found it stressful. It’s almost the end of the semester. All your deadlines are close in proximity. Many of them determine your overall grade in their respective modules. I know, it sucks – but it’s not impossible. If you’re organised, your deadlines become much more easily manageable. I can only imagine how much harder it is to stay motivated in the current climate, especially if you’re studying completely remotely; so, I took it upon myself to walk down memory lane and gather what I found were the 5 best ways to manage deadlines as a student for those seeking a little more guidance right now.

1. Create a plan

If you’ve read my guide on how to be more organised at university, you’ll know that I love a plan. A plan allows you to visualise your deadlines and figure out when to work on each assignment accordingly. Use a planner, a diary or a calendar – be it on paper, an app on your phone or on your laptop – to jot your deadlines down and, from there, you can plan when and how long to work on each assignment.

2. Prioritise your work

Although your deadline dates can indicate which assignment you should start first, make sure to prioritise your work according to what’s more important, what’ll take the longest or perhaps even what you enjoy the least. If one assignment has a larger weighting towards your grade than another, has a higher word count than another or is not as interesting to you as another, consider starting that one first to get it out of the way.

3. Set personal goals

As I’m sure you know, assignments can be draining, especially if you’ve tried working on one from dusk till dawn. However, it’s not necessary to try to complete one assignment – or one whole section if it’s particularly long – in one day. Try to set personal goals, such as “I’m going to write 500 words today”, “I’ll work on the literature review today” or “I’m going to read 10 pages today”, and you’ll be much more productive.

4. Take a break

It’s so important to remember to take a break. If you’ve achieved your 500-word goal, switch off your laptop for a while and watch your favourite Friends episode (or, whichever show you like), make a coffee, go for a walk, call a friend or family member or even call it a day. If you feel energised enough to get back to your work, go for it, but don’t stress yourself – you’ve done enough!

5. Make it fun!

Assignments don’t have to be boring. You chose your course of study for a reason; you must find some pleasure in it, right? Train your mind to perceive each assignment as an opportunity to learn something new, not as a chore. Make your plans exciting; use a bullet journal, some highlighters and other fancy stationery. Play your favourite album in the background (if you can concentrate, that is; I prefer to work in silence). Enjoy it while you can; a year on, I still miss studying!

Again, I know it sucks. I know it’s stressful. I know it’s difficult to create a plan that will work, remember to take a break now and then and make it fun in some way. But, again: it’s not impossible. You will get there and, when you do, all those hours of stressing, typing and crying will all feel worth it. Trust me.

Remember, I’ve been there. So, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below or via the contact options on my contact page.

Stay safe and good luck!


Soph, Little Pav ♡

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