Deadlines – how to stay on top of them

Experiences / Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Deadlines and Examinations

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines (and exams of course)… We all love them… Either you’re the type who get things done or lets procrastination settle in until the very last-minute and uses the adrenaline (plenty of caffeine too!) to help fuel you right until the deadline day strikes. One simple way to combat this is through organising yourself.

Tip 1: use realistic targets when organising yourself

A simple way of organising yourself is to set realistic targets. I found through completing university work with unrealistic deadlines, I felt unmotivated to do any work. An example of implementing this would be to give yourself small targets throughout the week. For example you could spend at least 10-30 minutes per night re-reading your lecture notes and making progress on an assignment, allowing you to stay on top of work instead of allowing it to pile up. Eventually, this will turn into a healthy habit and will avoid you from having to do more work than necessary near deadlines or exams. It will stop you from stressing out once exams and deadlines arrive.

Tip 2: use your mobile calendar for organising yourself

Using calendars as a tool for organising yourself is pretty handy. Many people use their mobile phones daily, so why not use yours to help organise yourself? Simply put in all your deadlines on your mobile calendars and you will then be able to then keep track of your deadlines. Adding in the details for deadlines like document information, such as word counts, titles, etc and the description, will enable you to understand what’s required for the assignment, without having to always refer back to the online specification or paper copy of the assessment requirements. For exams placing the deadlines and lectures you need to revise as details will help you prepare for exams.

When setting reminders though, be sure to set notifications to around a month before the deadline(s) or else there will be too many deadline notifications (which doesn’t help when you’re organising your time). I’ve found keeping track to deadlines on my mobile calendar has helped loads when organising the order I needed to do things in. It has also allowed me to panic less when deadlines were because my phone would tell me when it became necessary.

Tip 3: use your stationary for organising yourself

Alternatively using, physical objects like paper and note pads are good for organising. Write things down outlining the requirements for the assignment and keywords from lectures with a short summary of what it means. I did this for a recent assignment and instantly understood the expectations of the report. It was safe to say that simply organising yourself on paper is just as good as organising on mobile devices. For those who don’t rely on electronic devices too much when organising, this is a great option.

Another tip would be to use things like sticky notes to pin notes up around where you’re always going past, such as on your door, desk and on your wardrobe. The more often you can check notes from lectures, the more likely you will remember things ready for assessments.

Tip 4: organising a lifestyle routine

Finally, lack of organising yourself a routine can stop you from staying on top of studies. By simply having a messy routine, you can find yourself struggling to keep up with responsibilities and especially your university studies. Start by giving yourself a wake up time during the week and stick to it.

Although, feel free to treat yourself to a lie in on the weekends (you deserve it). Once I sorted my routine out, I was able to keep on top of both daily responsibilities and university work in an efficient way, meaning I was able to complete things stress free.

Tip 5: treat yourself when organising works out

Whilst organising yourself, you need to reward yourself when you complete the goals you have set. Treating yourself to things, such as a night out, a drink or two, dinner out with friends or just making your favourite meal can help you look forward to things after studying for long periods of time.

Alternatively, just resting can help you feel rewarded after working hard as this can help you replenish energy. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t abuse rewards as it will cut the point of having rewards.


Whether you’re preparing for exams/ deadlines or not, don’t forget that organising is vital for stress-less success. Never hesitate to ask if things get tough when you’re preparing for exams and upcoming deadlines. It is also important to rest and look after yourself property too. Plus don’t cause your health to suffer for grades as your health matters more than anything!

Summary/ Tips:

  • Try being realistic when setting goals.
  • Make daily targets, and not weekly or monthly when organising time to do work.
  • Use your surroundings when planning revision by sticking labels and notes up in areas where you’re most likely be when at home, flat or at university accommodation.
  • Mobile devices have calendars and reminder functions so use them!
  • Keep a consistent routine and deadline/ work schedule. Maintain it for the longest you can when exam season starts.
  • Treat yourself when completing your organised goals.
  • Put time aside to rest, don’t overdo it.

Hopefully this post has given you ideas on how to cope well with deadlines.

If you would like to see more posts like this, be sure to visit Dynamic Double for future posts!

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