How To Finish A Project In A Time Crunch

You have a paper due in an hour, and you’re stuck staring at a blank screen. If this scenario hasn’t been a reality for you yet, it very well could be in your future.

It happens to the best of us, no matter how organized and timely we are. Life happens, and often shakes things up a bit. So when you find yourself in a rut, keep these things in mind to help you work as efficiently as possible!

No matter where you are in your academic life, I can almost guarantee you that at some point, you’ve had to finish a project in a major time crunch. Recently, I’ve discovered just how important it is that college students know how to rock those papers even with a quickly approaching deadline looming over their heads.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid the last-minute cram sessions that typically end in a dramatic scene at the printer (because technology always has to fail when you need it most), props to you! However, you never know when life will creep up on you and before you know it, it’s 10am and you’re starting a paper that’s due at noon

So it is from some (sadly) VERY firsthand experience that I give you some tips to make your time crunch skills excel, no matter how soon the deadline.

Quit complaining/bragging about your procrastination, and just get it done!

Do your friends like to brag about how they started their history paper at 3am the day it was due? Do you spend more time telling everyone how much you have to do, when you could be using that time to actually get it done?

Don’t worry, if I were to call you out on this, I would be making a huge hypocrite out of myself. The fact is that in college, things can pile on quickly. One slip up, and your plans of getting that paper done a few days early are out the window. But do yourself and your friends a favor and just get to work on it ASAP. Then let us know of your great accomplishment later!

Get rid of distractions!

Do I sound like your mom yet? Social media, friends, texts, the noisy people in the hall…distractions like these take the completion time for that paper from 2 hours to 2 days. Avoid this now! Close out that Facebook window, silence and hide your phone in a drawer/book bag pocket, and let your friends know that academics come first, and you can’t be social for a little while. Find a quiet location, or turn on Pandora (at a low volume) for easy- listening tunes!

Know what your objectives are before getting starting.

Make sure that before you begin, you know what the goals and objectives of Project X are. With this established, you will know exactly what your job is as author, saving you ample time. One of my secrets to getting a paper or speech done effectively and correctly is to start by making an outline.

This doesn’t have to be formal, but may just include a few keywords to help me form a well-organized, concise final product, as well as establish an appropriate thesis. Essentially, once you transfer all of your ideas into the form of an outline, your paper is already written, you just have to make it formal! Some professors may even require that you include an outline with your final project!

Make sure you’re awake and clear-minded!

You’re not going to make any progress if you aren’t coming to the battle without the proper weapons! Most likely , if you’ve been unable to finish Project X before now due to other commitments, you’re probably already sleep-deprived and pre-occupied. However, Project X has to become your temporary priority.

Chug some coffee, splash some cold water on your face, or do whatever works to wake you up. To take your mind off of all the other things you need to do, make yourself a to-do list, knowing that as soon as you are done with Project X, you can tackle your to-do list without the fear that you’re forgetting to do something!

No, I am not giving you permission to continue your procrastination streak because you may know how to tackle your project later. (Sorry!) But I do hope that I have given you a better idea of how to tackle your projects more efficiently and successfully!

Now, quit using this article as a reason to procrastinate and GO GET IT DONE!

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Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor is a freshman at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in Spanish. She comes from a small farm town of 1,000 in West-Central Illinois, making the transition to a large campus challenging. At school Kaitlyn is involved with the University’s Women Glee Choir, and also sings in her Church choir and is involved with her residence hall’s Resident Board. She enjoys writing, biking, and volunteering.
Kaitlyn Taylor

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