Have you ever got trapped in a situation when a tight deadline was chasing you? I’m sure you also go crazy about them. Is it really possible to complete 3-4 tasks in just one night when they have to be ready by tomorrow? My answer is “Yes!” And today I want to tell you how I managed to deal with all of my assignments and not fail my professors’ expectations.
The burning deadline I suddenly bumped into
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you likely know how much I love sports, art, and travelling. Being a highly creative personality, I’m always full of great ideas that drive me through my whole life.
I will tell you a story that happened to me last week, when I nearly missed my deadline. This happened on Tuesday. On that day, I didn’t pay enough attention to my studies. To tell you the truth, I was busy doing the things I love: I had a meeting with my travel agent, since I wanted to go to Ottawa for a couple of days to search for inspiration for my new paintings. Then, I had training in the gym. Finally, I met with my friends in a local café. There, we had a good time together, laughing and having fun.
So, when I got home at 7 p.m., I realized my homework was still undone and I had to prepare plenty of tasks:
- To do some revision and to get ready for a test in communications
- To do three exercises in English
- To write a short report in ecology
- To select solid arguments for the essay, which we were supposed to present in class the next day
All these assignments were important to me and I couldn’t give up and fail to complete them.
Well, at first, my jaw nearly dropped. But then, I realized my emotions would only prevent me from being focused. So, I had to pull myself together and started to act like Mulan, whose character I like immensely.
And by the way, I thought it would be a nice chance to please my parents and show them I can be responsible and well-organized.
My plan of action or how I learned to handle academic emergencies
I tried to be as rational as I could, which is not typical for a dreamy and romantic girl like me. To meet the deadline, I took these steps:
Step 1. I stayed calm and motivated
I understood it was too late to panic, and I had no other choice but to cope with my homework. And I had 4 hours for it.
Step 2. I put away side distractions
I turned off the TV and switched to silent mode on my phone. I left it in the kitchen. It was absolutely necessary to do so in order not to let a short chat with a friend turn into a 2-hour talk. I felt I was ready to get down to my studies.
Step 3. I made a cup of strong green tea and a glass of fresh orange juice
Right now, some of you may wonder why I needed both of them. It was a kind of strategic decision. The explanation is a rather simple one, though. Green tea contains more caffeine than coffee. This chemical substance helps you stay fresh at any part of the day and it isn’t harmful to our health.
Orange juice is a source of vitamin C, which keeps us active and concentrated. I needed both of these drinks because I didn’t want to fall asleep in the middle of my work or to feel absolutely exhausted after my intensive day.
Step 4. I made a list of all the tasks I had to complete
I wrote them out on a separate paper in order not to forget about any of them. It is a great way to have a clear picture of what exactly you have to do and to stay target-oriented.
By crossing completed assignments out of the list or by ticking them off, I could see what progress I have made and which ones were still left undone. Since the amount of finished tasks increased, I felt more confident and positive.
Step 5. I didn’t add any extra tasks to my list
Since my time was limited, I decided not to overload my plan with other assignments, which could wait until later and to focus only on those ones that I had to prepare for the next day.
Step 6. I prioritized my assignments
I divided them into simple and complicated ones. Then, I decided which of them I would complete first and which ones I would do later. So, I chose to finish my assignments in this order:
- To do my English exercises, since this would take less time
- To compose a report
- To search for arguments for my essays
- To do some review for the test
Step 7. I stayed in control of my time
I assumed how long it would take me to complete each of the assignments. Then, I put a watch on the table and looked at it from time to time. This helped me ensure I wasn’t lagging behind in my schedule.
Step 8. I took short breaks after I finished working on every task
Since I’m largely involved in sports, I know for sure how important is to get rest and relax. This is why, as soon as I was ready with every new task on my list, I stopped for 5-7 minutes. This time was enough to wash my face, breathe fresh air on the balcony, and even take a sticky-rice cake from the kitchen for further inspiration and to boost my mental strength.
Guess what? It took me 4 hours to deal with my homework! I even had 15 more minutes to have a glass of hot milk with honey before going to bed at 11 p.m.
These 8 simple steps helped me use my time effectively and do my best. This is a lucky number in China and it was lucky for me too. I managed to prepare my homework by the deadline.
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