Ah, there’s nothing like the word deadline to give a student the overwhelming need to compare how many words they’ve written with their friends. Here’s some advice on handling your many deadlines.
1) Use a calendar/diary
It might make you feel old beyond your years, but find some way to actually keep track of what you’re supposed to be doing one day to the next. Don’t just write your deadline down on the first page of your notebook and never look at it again.
I used to be a handwritten planning kind of girl, but became too much of an unbearable perfectionist over my messy writing that I decided typing was the way forward.
I’ve mentioned it before in this post about organisation, but I use iCal. It syncs with my phone, laptop and iPad effortlessly so everything I need is in one place. You can have different calendars for different things. For example: I have one for uni, one for appointments, one for my blog… etcetera.
Call me crazy, but knowing what you’re supposed to be doing and when makes everything a little easier.
2) Find out your deadlines as quickly as you can
If you have a good lecturer (there are a few) they’ll let you know when your assignments are due as soon as possible. If not, they’ll drop the bombshell weeks before it’s due.
From experience, don’t just wait around for something to happen. Take the responsibility into your own hands and read all the information about your course. There’s usually some note of your deadlines in the module outline. If not, don’t be afraid to ask.
Most importantly – check not only the dates but the times of the deadlines. As far as I know, most universities use online software for you to submit your work. Some of my lecturers set their deadlines at 2.00, some at 4.30 and others by midnight. Make sure you know which essays are due at which hour. Give yourself time to sit through the submission process.
It’s not unusual to have several pieces due at the same time – so it’s important to prioritise. Say you have two assignments due a few days apart. The first one’s a 2000 word essay and one’s a 800 word analysis for a couple of days later. Which one do you start first?
In my opinion, take it in order. It may be tempting but don’t just go with which ever assignment seems easier at the time. I’d never start the 800 word piece before I’d finished a solid first draft of the bigger essay.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with writing two at the same time. It’s actually quite refreshing to have something else to focus on instead of the document you’ve scrolled through for days. Especially when you’ve got what I like to call ‘student’s block’.
Use your own logic to prioritise whatever needs to be done first. Just make you leave enough time to get everything in.
Thanks for reading another instalment of #BackToUniWeek. Still more to come tomorrow.