DEADLINE. This word alone instills fear and anxiety. Students often have their calendars filled with deadlines for various papers and projects. It is no surprise that deadlines are a common cause of stress in students.
Whether you’re working on a last-minute essay or have days until your paper is due, deadlines feel equally intimidating. The pressure associated with them often makes you feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
Yet, deadlines aren’t inherently negative. Stress comes from a student’s attitude towards their assignment and their workflow organization. Read on for five methods to eliminate the stress associated with deadlines and stay calm.
- Reach Out for Help
All students are familiar with a situation when you have a looming deadline, and the only way to meet it is to sacrifice your sleep entirely. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for young people to experience sleep deprivation or other negative consequences of overworking, like an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
Not only does this routine increase your stress levels but also negatively affects your mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. Therefore, it’s never an option to sacrifice your well-being to get good grades, especially when you can meet any assignment deadline by relying on the best essay writing service. Professional writers will help you avoid deadline stress entirely while making sure you maintain good academic performance.
- Break Down Assignments Into Smaller Tasks
What seems less stressful: submitting an essay in three weeks or coming up with an essay outline in a week? A study proved that by dividing a task into several smaller ones, you make it less stressful and more manageable. The study involved three groups of participants. The first group had three tasks, each given a separate deadline every week. The second group had one final deadline for all tasks. The participants of Group 3 were free to set their own deadlines. The study results revealed that Group 1 was much more successful in completing assignments on time and made fewer mistakes.
This leads to a study tip: instead of focusing on one final deadline, give yourself smaller goals. For example, if you need to submit a paper by Nov 30, plan to do research by Nov 7, come up with an outline by Nov 12, complete your first draft by Nov 17, and finish editing by Nov 25. Then, enjoy some buffer time to improve your paper or simply relax.
Small self-imposed deadlines are an effective way to optimize your schedule. They give you a sense of accomplishment as you progress, motivate you, and make deadlines less intimidating.
- Manage Your Perfectionism
While trying to improve your skills and perform better is an admirable goal, perfectionism has an opposite side. Students who always want to deliver impeccable work put extra pressure on themselves. If you don’t keep your perfectionism in check, you risk setting unrealistic standards for yourself. This makes you spend 6 hours on a task that normally takes 3 or overthink an assignment making it seem more complicated than it is. Thus, perfectionism often leads to excessive stress.
Instead of perfection, aim for more manageable and measurable goals. Remember that sometimes it’s enough to get the work done. Not every task needs to be perfect.
- Optimize Your Study Process With Smart Tools and Services
Deadlines often seem stressful because they involve dealing with complex tasks. You have to keep a lot of things in mind: due dates, task requirements, meetings, etc. The fear that you might forget something makes you constantly think about your to-do list. Then, it seems larger and more complicated than it is in reality.
You can get rid of this stress by using digital tools to organize your workflow. For example, Google Calendar will keep all important events in one place and remind you when you need to submit a paper or have a meeting with your research advisor. An academic writing service for students can write that paper for you in case you forgot or had other priorities. If you need help organizing your research, check Scrivener. Need a tool to avoid distractions and increase your productivity? Freedom or Forest could come in handy.
There are tools for almost any task. They do some of the work for you, giving you more time to relax and get rid of stress.
- Add Relaxation Activities to Your Daily Routine
When you have to deal with deadlines on a daily basis, stress tends to accumulate. It causes different physical and mental symptoms like headaches, tension, upset stomach, and panic attacks, to name but a few. To prevent that, incorporate a few relaxing habits into your routine. Here are a few examples:
- Herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, and lavender have a calming effect. Besides, taking a break for a few minutes to prepare and enjoy your drink is therapeutic in itself.
- Get an essential oils diffuser. Aromatherapy is helpful in reducing stress levels.
- Try breathing exercises like alternate-nostril or belly breathing. It gives your body more oxygen and relaxes muscles.
- Exercise regularly. A study shows that physical activity is a powerful stress reliever and has an energizing effect. If you don’t have enough time to go for a run or visit the gym, you can stretch at your desk.
- Do a simple yoga routine during study breaks. It combines exercise and mindfulness for your physical and mental health.
Deadlines are stressful only if a student struggles to manage them. With these tips, you can learn to organize your study process to approach your deadlines with confidence. Not only will this make you more productive and successful as a student, but it will also give you peace of mind and motivation to study!