Top 5 Tips How to Get Ahead of Your Assignments
Written by Barbara, Master’s in Human Resource Development Student
“Assignment deadlines are just around the corner, and some of you may have already started with your work. It’s fine if you haven’t, I have a few tips on how to manage your workload. Even though some of these tips might be familiar to you and you use them already, it is important to balance your academic work, rest and other commitments like job hunt or part-time work!
Create a timetable
There is a reason why timetables are so important. Having a clear schedule keeps you posted, gives you the motivation to finish work and create a daily routine to follow. Firstly, write down all your deadlines in a calendar or planner. Then, try to arrange a slot from your day where you are most productive (from the morning to the late nights) where you work on your assignments or revise for your exams. Simply, try to get into the habit of studying for each assignment every week and create a study routine.
If you have more than 2 papers due in the same week, try not to complete all of them during the same day. My favourite thing to do is to work on 1 subject one day and the other subject on the other day and rotate. This allows you to have the whole day to process the topic you are focusing on and gives your brain a little rest before you’ll come back to the same topic.
Tip. There are many visual timetable templates on Canva (this one is my favourite) for you to download for free or draft your own.
Be familiar with the assignment task
It is important to at least read through your assignment briefs to understand what you are required to do and choose the topic you are most interested in (if you have a choice). This will help you get on track with research and stay up to date with readings. You can also start researching and writing early drafts weeks before the paper is due. Giving yourself enough time to edit and improve the assignment might help you lower your stress and feel confident about your work.
Start with the most difficult assignment
Starting with the toughest task will make your life so much easier. Select the subject you feel will be the most difficult to complete and start now! You will have enough time to consult any concerns with your lecturer or join a study group.
Split your work into manageable sections
Assignments are mostly multi-papers papers and research projects, and we are unable to finish them a day or two before deadlines. Instead, we should begin with assignments weeks ahead of time. Think about the parts of the assignment that you need to complete and write out an outline of each assignment. Create a small deadline for yourself. Then break up the assignment into more manageable chunks and keep your work on a track, leaving enough time to proofread and edit them before the submission deadline. Breaking it down into several topics/steps makes your work much easier.
Tip. Do not forget to back up your work!
Make time to rest!
It is important that we take a break during our assignment preparation. Taking breaks will help you to perform better, process the information more effectively, improve your mood and increase your ability to concentrate. So, when you feel like you are starting to procrastinate (checking your phone all the time, searching for unnecessary stuff on the internet or binging on YouTube), take a break, go for a walk or go to the gym. When sitting 6-8 hours a day on a computer you can easily get tired. Going for a 20mins walk, 5k run or fit in a gym session will help your body to stretch, make your blood flow and you will feel energised. And if you don’t feel like going out you can also do stretching or yoga in between your work. For example, a 15-minute stretch gives your brain rest and your blood circulation a little boost.”
Tip. Click to watch my favourite 15-minute Full Body Stretching Routine.