To say that college students have to deal with a great deal of homework is a bit of an understatement – the workload you have to deal with in college is nothing short of enormous. If you consider that in addition to actual homework one is supposed to carry out personal responsibilities, work, participate in extracurricular activities and group projects, it becomes obvious that dealing with all this can be somewhat problematic. This is why completing all your assignments before the deadline is of crucial importance for every student – and in this article, you will find some tactics that will help you do it.
1. Plan Ahead
You always have to know when and what you are supposed to be doing, as well as the submission dates for all your homework. Keep all this information in one place, so that you never need more than a quick glance to find out when you have to hand in your next essay, how soon you will have to start revising for your next test, and so on. Do not let your commitments creep up on you – keep an eye on them and start preparing ahead of time.
2. Keep a Log
It is especially important at the beginning of a term. When you do any kind of homework – write essays, prepare for tests, do research – keep a log of how long it takes you to do this or that type of work. Of course, how much time you need to write a paper may differ depending on the paper type, its topic, and the professor’s requirements, but this amount cannot deviate dramatically. If you know at least approximately how long it takes you, e.g., to write an essay, you will be able to plan other work with greater precision.
3. Do Things Only Once
Some students believe that they can literally double the efficiency of their studies just by doing things twice (or even thrice): e.g., by copying the notes they took in class to make them look neater, listening to the recording of the lecture they listened to in class or rereading the same material several times in a row. In reality, it is an extremely inefficient approach. If you cannot pay enough attention to the subject matter the first time you deal with it, you are unlikely to find it in you to do it when you repeat the task. Even more importantly, when you repeat things several times you feel less inclined to focus on the job – after all, you can always do it the next time you repeat it! Instead, learn to pay your full attention to the job in question when you do it, and do it only once.
4. Use Your Holidays to Study
We do not mean that you should spend your entire holidays writing essays, read textbooks and revise for exams. What we mean is that you should not take your holidays as literally the time when you are not supposed to do anything but have a good time. By introducing a few hours of studying here and there, you will be able to take advantage of the extra free time and be more focused when doing it because you do not have too much work on your hands. In addition, every bit of work you do during holidays is a bit of work you will not have to do during the next term. This means that you do not rob yourself of your well-earned rest, but spread this rest more evenly across your academic year.
5. Get Rid of Extra Commitments
Learn how to negotiate with the people unrelated to your studies about how much time you can give them, especially during peak study times (e.g., before and during midterms and exams). Ask your boss for a decreased workload during these periods. Tell your frat head that you physically do not have time for another community service project. Explain to your parents that you will not be able to take part in their Christmas plans. It may be hard, you may feel awful when doing it, but you have to do it when your academic performance is at stake.
6. Know When to Delegate
If you have absolutely no time to complete all your assignments even when you are extremely tough on yourself, it may mean that your workload is actually beyond what you can realistically manage. In such a situation, it may be a wise decision to look for some extra help. Fortunately, you can always relatively easily find someone to assist you online. A simple Google search reveals dozens of websites offering writing help for money – you simply have to find the one that seems trustworthy to you, contact it, and say, “Can you please help me do my essays?”. If you look hard enough, you can easily find a service that will be both relatively cheap and capable of producing good results.
7. Do not Put Major Tasks Off
“This project is just too large to take it on right now; I think I will probably spend my time better doing other, more immediate tasks.” This is what students often think when they see a particularly large assignment looming on the horizon. It is only natural to feel this way; however, it is hardly the best course of action. Instead, try to break up this major task into smaller, more manageable chunks, and introduce them into your overall plan. Tackle them one at a time, always keeping an eye on the bigger picture but limiting your attention to the current task. This way, you will be able to proceed with the larger task without feeling that you are dealing with a huge and insurmountable obstacle.
Managing your time and attention in a way that allows you to always complete your tasks on time can be tough – it requires a lot of self-discipline. However, these efforts more than pay off, especially if you consider that these skills can come in handy not just in college, but in your professional life as well.