Deadlines can come in all shapes and sizes and I’m not just talking about academic deadlines. I’m including all of them, from academic, to social, to admin and housekeeping. Deadlines can be crushing and give you that feeling of everything getting on top of you too fast. There are easy, efficient coping methods.
Make a list
Lists can be easy. All you have to do to start with is literally just list everything you need to do (this can be done on your phone reminders, notes or on a notice board or notebook).
So for example, academically, it could be…
- Finish history essay
- Email professor about class
- Sort out work experience
(Setting out in bullet points makes it a lot easier!)
Social deadlines could be…
- Sort mother’s day present
- Get outfit for friends party
- Arrange taxis for clubbing on Saturday
Other miscellaneous deadlines could be…
- Apply for student loans
- Do laundry
- Remember to pick up dry cleaning
The next step is deciding which the most important deadlines are. This is just ordering what needs to be done first.
Out of the list I made above, prioritising could mean reorganising it like so…
- Email professor about class tomorrow (Tomorrow)
- Remember to pick up dry cleaning (Tomorrow)
- Finish history essay (due Friday)
- Arrange taxi for clubbing (Saturday )
- Buy mother’s day present (Saturday at the latest ready for Sunday)
- Do laundry (Before work on Monday)
- Get outfit for party (Before next Saturday)
- Sort out work experience (Before May)
- Apply for student loan (Before July)
Organising the list in terms of when things need to be done makes it clear where to start in the mass of tasks and how to tackle them most efficiently.
So now you’ve got your list it’s just about taking one task at a time and pushing slowly but surely on with the list.
Don’t get complacent
So once the list is nearly finished, it’s time to make a new list as new things will have come up in your life since starting to cut down the list. Sometimes it will be necessary to postpone tasks when an urgent one comes in such as a piece of work due the next day and it’s important to pause and make sure that is done first, but afterwards, it’s hard not to get complacent and stuck in a rut.
Keeping to deadlines is always the easiest when organised, so make a list and start from the top!