image credit: http://www.mpug.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/deadline.jpg
I find working exceptionally difficult. I would much rather watch 5 hours of Netflix (I’ve started How To Get Away With Murder this week and I’m OBSESSED!) and finding the motivation to work rather than to lie in bed all day has been one of the biggest struggles for me when starting uni. At A Level, your teachers are constantly badgering you – reminding you that your essay is due or your coursework needs handing in. At degree level sometimes your tutors won’t even mention the essay until the week that it’s due. It’s up to you to find the deadline and make yourself stick to it. Here are my top tips!
When I find out a deadline (for my course it’s always a Sunday evening at midnight), I make sure I have the weekend before completely free and if I know I have something on that I can’t move, make sure I schedule time for the essay the weekend before that – or during my free time in the week. Usually in my planner I will have ‘start intro essay’ written on certain days and ‘finish intro essay’ on others. (Intro stands for Introduction to Politics which is the name of one of my modules). That way I’ve given myself a clear time frame, well before the deadline, to do the essay. Tutors will say to start a month before but we all know that’s unrealistic and starting a week before usually is fine for me – just do not leave it to the last minute!
Find out the consequences!
Look up what your university’s policy is for missed deadlines and late submissions. For the School of Politics & IR at Queen Mary it’s loss of 5 marks for every day it’s not submitted. Since 5 marks can easily mean the difference between at 2:1 and a 2:2, this scares me into sticking to deadlines as I’m quite obsessive about grades and academic success. If you don’t care about this then I’d argue that you shouldn’t really be at university.
Create an environment where it’s impossible to procrastinate!
Turn your phone on Airplane Mode and put it on the other side of the room. Only use the internet for research. If you catch yourself trying to browse twitter, add an extra 10 minutes onto your allotted study time. Maybe go to the library where you’re forced to be silent or focused. I mostly do my work in my bedroom and so I sit at my desk, not on my bed, and put my phone far way. I close all tabs of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin’, Pinterest and Instagram and just get to writing. I usually have a drink next to me and maybe a snack (a banana and a 9 bar help give natural energy!) if I get peckish but that’s about it.
Don’t get too stressed out!
Take regular breaks, keep yourself hydrated and don’t attempt to sit down and write 2500 words and research the essay and do your bibliography all in one day. It usually takes me 3-4 days to fully complete an essay ready for submission.
So there you have it – my by no means expert opinion on how you should tackle tough assignments! Speaking of, I have one due tonight so I better get it finished!