As one goes through their college career, they start to get busier and busier as they take harder classes and become more involved on campus. Everyone also has their “week from hell” every once in a while where so many important things are all due in the same week.
This past week, I had one of those weeks from hell. In a single week, I had two huge group projects due two days apart, a paper, and more (which is mentioned below) added onto my usual weekly workload. I had dreaded last week for this whole semester and it arrived rather fast. I believe I survived last week by doing the following things:
1. Leave Open Space for Unexpected Surprises:
While I knew I had a lot of assignments due last week, I knew there would be more than I was expecting. For example, I wrote a paper that was due in the middle of the week. Upon bringing the paper to class, the professor without prior notice says, “Now, you are going to switch papers with someone else in the class and critique their work. This is due two days from now.” Because I left open patches in my schedule, I knew I had to give one of those up in order to complete the assignment.
That week, I also helped a friend with a project and helped out with a video shoot. These two tasks were all on short notice. Every week is different and a single week is never set in stone. One’s schedule has to be flexible enough to change at any moment. Always keep a few hours free just in case.
2. Get Things Done Early:
There would have been no way to finish all of my work in a single week. I instead broke my tasks up in chunks and did small bits of each beforehand. One of my two group projects was actually completed the week before it was due. I met with my group members both online and offline and worked during less busy weeks to get it done. The paper I had due Wednesday was actually finished a couple of days prior because I wanted to use the time Tuesday night to work on other things rather than rush out a paper.
There have also been times in the past where I completed assignments a week or more before they were due, just because I couldn’t think of any other time I would have to get them done. Procrastinating is easy to do. I’ve done it plenty of times. When one has multiple assignments due day after day, procrastinating isn’t an easy option to choose. There’s no shame in getting things done early.
3. Make a To-Do List:
The most successful days and weeks I have are the ones where I have made to-do lists. I always have so many things to do during any given week that it becomes very hard to remember them all. To-do lists allow me to keep track of what I have to do. Making a to-do list also gives me satisfaction when I’m able to cross an item off of my list. I can get a visual as to how much progress I have made in a day or week. It also forces me to commit to a plan of action.
Throughout college, there are always so many things to do and so little time to do them. College students typically procrastinate, but sometimes, that will prove to be ineffective. This is especially true during midterm and finals weeks, I do follow the advice I gave above and it does lead to be more productive and relaxed. These strategies also give me time to polish my work rather than hand in the first draft of a paper and call it a day. Be wise with your time. Don’t waste it.