Coping with deadline pressure
With the end of term fast approaching, this time of year often comes with a terrifying slew of impending doom… I mean deadlines.
It can become extremely stressful trying to split our time between working on all our various assessments, whilst still giving ourselves the downtime that is essential to avoid letting our mental or physical health go down the drain.
Here are some things I’ve done (or at least I try to – let’s keep it real) which have genuinely helped me to manage my work and complete it to the best of my ability.
Prioritise while you still can.
Put that Wednesday Union night on hold. It may seem like the most important thing in the world to you right now to drink as many Snakebites as you can before you graduate. But, in the crunch of deadline week when every moment counts, losing a morning to being hungover could make all the difference between sending off an essay you’re happy with and rushing to dump a messy draft into Turnitin that really isn’t you. It will be all the more exciting when you finally hand in those essays and are able to do fun things again, and all the hours plugging away at your desk will have been worth it.
To-do lists are your friends.
I find it impossible to structure my day and actually get work done without a to-do list. To get started the night before, I use my phone to jot down roughly what I want to do the next day, along with some rough ideas for the coming few days. In the morning, I write out my tasks in full, complete with timings.
Start with small tasks. There are reasons for this. Firstly, there will always be some sort of minor job that needs doing – the kind of chore you never find the time to actually get round to. Putting them at the beginning of your morning allows a clear headspace for the rest of the day, without having to worry about anything other than your most important assignments. Secondly, already having accomplished things just a few minutes into your day gets those productive vibes flowing and is encouraging. At the end of your study sesh, ticking off your tasks after completing them generates a rewarding feeling; it’s science! Go study it if you don’t believe me.
Surround yourself with like-minded people.
When applying to university I knew I wanted to go to good one, not because of the rankings but because I wanted there to be people on my course who were likely to have the same love for their subject as me. This type of person is often the kind of student who wants to put smashing that 2:1 somewhere near the top of their priority list. So, without ignoring your mains, make sure to spend time with the people who really get it. I’m always amazed as the power of the motivation I get just from seeing my friends studying industriously beside me. Some people are never-failingly inspiring.
Written by Sabita Burke