Meeting deadlines in college is difficult because many projects and assignments are given far in advance. More work and preparation is required for each task than many students are used to. In addition, if a student falls behind in their reading or coursework, it is difficult to play catch up. Don’t fall behind! Don’t forget about those looming deadlines! Here are four ways to manage meeting your deadlines with ease.
1. Make your deadlines visible.
It is not enough to simply highlight a due date on a syllabus or input it into your phone. Put it out in the open where you can see it! Having a monthly calendar hanging on your wall or in a planner format will increase your productivity and help you meet deadlines. If you see it everyday, you won’t forget about it. Writing down when projects are due gives you a way to visualize the future and how many days you have to complete the project.
2. Use miniature deadlines to meet bigger deadlines.
Miniature deadlines are especially helpful with long research papers or projects containing multiple parts. Break the project down into stages. Pick specific dates to have each stage completed. By meeting these tiny deadlines, the work won’t build up and crash down on you all at once. You’ll also gain confidence knowing you are making progress over time, instead of procrastinating and dreading the week before the project is due.
3. Get the small stuff done first.
It is always easier to focus on the small things first. It’s less daunting. If you have an easier, quick assignment that you know won’t take much time, do it right away. Not only will you be able to check this off of your to-do list, it will launch you into the next assignment. Once you start, it will be easier to keep going.
This is super important for classes that involve group work or partner assignments. Let your group members know what your schedule is like – if you are overwhelmed with tons of work for other classes, do not take on the biggest portion of the group project. Sitting down with everyone may also be a great way to stay on task and meet deadlines. When you have partners in crime, they hold you accountable and you’re more likely to get the work done on time.
Remember, if you feel overwhelmed or continue to have trouble meeting deadlines, talk with your advisor or professor. They can offer advice on how to navigate classes and keep you on track.