At some point during your studies - whether you’re in your final year of high school or trudging through uni - you’re going to have a mountain of assignments to churn through.
By this time, you’ve gone on way too many Maccas runs to procrastinate and maybe even skipped a few classes because Game of Thrones is a priority - we can’t blame you. But suddenly, there’s only a few weeks left and there are far too many assignments due. Time is flying by and the deadlines are creeping closer and closer. You’re stressed. You keep trying to study only to end up watching dumb videos on YouTube and surrendering to the algorithms of social media.
There’s so much to do that you have no idea where to start and it's easier to procrastinate than get cracking. But there’s still some time left. You can do it, all you have to do is find a way to start.
1. Go outside
Super cliché, right? It’s cliché for a reason. Walk your dog around the block, go and sit on a swing somewhere and re-discover the joys of almost flying. Just get outside.
Being around nature can help reduce feelings of anger, stress, and anxiousness - all of which are normal to feel when there’s so much to do. Above all, it’ll help you clear your mind for a while. That whirlwind of thoughts will slow down, and you’ll be able to plan your next steps with clarity.
2. Write a list
Boring, but it needs to be done. Write out each assignment, the deadline, and put this in chronological order. Seeing everything that is due can be confronting at first. Grab the fattest sharpie you can find and get keen to cross each item off as you complete it. Writing out everything that is due gives you a sense of control and can help you set time frames.
3. Set your priorities and be prepared to say no
Now that you’ve got your handy list (that’s defs overwhelming), learn to set some priorities. Which assignments are due first? Which need the most attention and hard work? What’s the hardest part? Decide which you’re going to smash out first. Multitasking doesn’t work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on multiple assignments. Just make sure you space out working on different assignments and be prepared to say no to a piss up with your mates.
4. Take breaks
Break up your study sessions between 30 minute and 1 hour blocks. Once you’ve studied for that block, take a 5 to 10 minute break. Make sure you leave your study area and move around.
If you’re looking for a bit of motivation, an app called Forest can help ya out. You set a timer and you’re not allowed to touch your phone for that duration. If you succeed, you gain a tree in your virtual forest. If not? Your trees die - a nice metaphor for your concentration.
If virtual trees aren’t your thing, simply set a timer and commit to completing one task for this time. When you hear that obnoxious buzzing, you’ll feel relieved and accomplished.
5. Always make your health a priority
If you’ve spent hours hunched over a word document - surrounded by V cans and doodles on your task sheet - and it seems to be going nowhere, it’s probably time to go to bed. It’s easy to get caught up in the culture of grinding and hustle, but your health is what matters most.
Make sure you get enough sleep and keep in check with your mental health. Jot down some thoughts, scream Riptide at the top of your lungs or call your mate and drive to nowhere in particular, watching the streetlamps flash past you in the rear-view mirror. Just do whatever helps you clear your mind for a while.
Just remember your best is fine. You don’t have to cross out everything on that list aggressively in one week; take small steps and you can do it.
Written by Jordan White