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5 Top Tips to Meet Your Deadline

StudentsTips and AdviceUniversity

While assignments are no hidden aspect of university life, the struggle that comes with managing them can sometimes be overlooked. In between classes, social obligations, a part-time job and everyday life, hitting that all-important deadline can often be a great challenge. Check out my 5 top tips to meet your deadline that might alleviate some of that assignment stress and contribute towards a more positive, successful writing process.

1) Start Early

While being advised to ‘start early' is often told with an air of derision and condescension, the benefits of this tip are monumental. Perhaps most importantly, by starting early you are giving yourself the most amount of time possible to work on your assignment. During this time, you allow yourself to flush out any weaker ideas early on, cycle through new ones, and ultimately land on your most thought out, considered points. A maximum time scale also provides you with a calmer approach to your assignment, which will reflect in your written tone.

2) Swap Your Notes

It is no secret to university students that lectures move fast. The speed, and oftentimes sheer volume of content conveyed to students means that it can be incredibly difficult to absorb every piece of information given to you. By asking to look over a friend's notes, you open the possibility of allowing your inspiration to strike upon the exposure to new materials. Your friend may also phrase things in different ways that perhaps make more sense to you.

3) Focus on Your Health

While a sleeping schedule, diet tracker and exercise routine aren't sole methods to hit a deadline, their combined utilisation along with focus and time management undoubtedly contribute towards a healthier, more positive mindset. Avoid those late night TV-binge sessions and start your day early - this will allow for a productive morning that can start your day off with feelings of positivity and accomplishment, while also leaving your evening free for whatever method of unwinding you so wish. Also ensure to monitor your diet to some degree; a healthy combination of fats and carbohydrates will maximise energy (importantly, long-term energy) an help avoid those dreaded sugar crashes that leave us tired and lethargic. Perhaps most critically, keep your body and mind hydrated throughout the day to ensure you stay present and focused on the task at hand.

4) Learn How to Maximise Your Time

For many of us, it is ingrained in our heads that the more time allocated to a task, the better its outcome. However, this is not always true and occasionally, glaring over an assignment with tired, weary eyes is not productive at all. Take regular breaks to keep your mind and ideas fresh, helping avoid burnouts and writer's block. Looking over your assignment with fresh eyes increases your likelihood of picking up on grammatical errors and spotting those ideas that perhaps aren't as well-rounded as they should be.

5) Make a Timetable

This is a tried and tested method of increasing your productivity. Make a timetable as soon as the deadline is announced to best allocate you time spent on the task per day. In doing so, you approach the assignment prepared and with a more positive attitude. Furthermore, you can make your timetable your own; fully customise it to suit your lifestyle in the best way. Factor in breaks, mealtimes and social activities to help you stay on track and make approaching your deadline far less daunting. By seeing when your next break is, you will find yourself procrastinating less and utilising your time in a rewarding way. You can find a variety of templates online to make designing your timetable even easier. While all of these will push you in the right direction towards finishing an assignment by its deadline, do not forget that your mental wellbeing comes first. Make sure you are well informed of your university's provisions when it comes to essay writing and do not hesitate to contact someone in the welfare department if things ever become too much.
GRB Blog Author and Student - Fran Kettles

Francesca is an English Literature student at the University of Birmingham. She enjoys obsessing over podcasts, binge-watching American sitcoms and eating far too much Mexican food in one sitting.

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