We’ve all been there. It’s almost 9:00 pm and you’ve just remembered you’ve got an assignment that’s due tomorrow that you haven’t started yet. You’re at the fifth stage in the stages of procrastination, the crisis stage. You’ve already experienced the first four stages: false security – the belief that the assignment isn’t due for a while so you don’t have to worry about it now; laziness – where you feel you should start working but aren’t motivated to do so; excuses – where you come up with ANY excuse possible not to work on your assignment such as having “better” things to do, (better being the operative word); and denial – where you believe you still have enough time despite the fact that the assignment is due in just a short couple of days.
In the current stage of crisis, time seems to be moving quicker while accomplishing little. Panic starts to set in, followed by anxiety and stress. You start to become aware and accepting of the fact that you will probably have to pull an all-nighter accompanied by six cups of straight black coffee or a pack of energy drinks.
Then you believe that you’ll never procrastinate again, (which face it, probably isn’t true), and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
Well, you don’t have to worry anymore, because here are some helpful tips to help you finish an assignment when you’ve only got one day, or one night to do it!
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Before you actually start working, try to eliminate all of your distractions or at least the major ones.
Turn off your cellphone.
There’s actually an off button on your cell phone? WOW!
It’s always difficult to turn off your phone. Somehow turning off our phones drives us crazy, so if you absolutely can’t bring yourself to shut off your phone, try these tips instead.
- If you have any type of phone chatting application, put a status saying ‘don’t message, busy!’ so that people won’t bother you, unless it is an extreme emergency, (which doesn’t include your favourite celebrity being arrested!) thus, eliminating the need to look at your phone as often – if at all.
- Put your phone on silent and farther than just a reach away from you, eliminating the temptation to check it every second.
Facebook and email are the number one websites your homework hates! The first thing we always say to ourselves when we’re about to start working is: “I’m just going to check my emails really quickly and then I’ll get straight to work!” But a quick email check then turns into an hour and a half of Internet searches that are useless to help you complete your assignment on time.
- So turn off your twitter, tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook and email along with all the other social sites that you are a part of. The best thing to do is to turn off all access to the Internet until you complete your assignment, but sometimes the Internet is necessary for your work. If that’s you, don’t fret.
There’s an APP for that!
- There is a downloadable application called Self Control where you create a blacklist of sites that will be blocked for a specified amount of time. Plus, the best thing about this application is that it is IRREVERSIBLE! That’s right! You can’t undo it. Shutting off the application, restarting your computer, even deleting the application, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING will unblock those sites until the time limit you have set expires.
- Or try Focusbar, another downloadable application that will display a simple notification to pop up on your screen every so often to remind you to stay on task.
Anyone and everyone can lose focus while working. Your mind wanders when you pause for a moment and 10 minutes later, you realize you’ve just wasted 10 minutes.
To not lose focus,
- Try setting a “Task Timer” to go off every five or ten minutes or so to remind you to stay on task.
- If you’re sitting in a room full of distractions, move somewhere with fewer distractions, such as a room with nothing but a table and chairs.
There are also tons of other applications you can download to your computer to help you focus and do your work when you are behind or in a rush to finish, so take advantage of these inventions (but not when you should be doing your work).
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Well so far, I’ve given you some suggestions on how to eliminate distractions, but here are some tips on actually getting the assignment done.
Don’t Stop, Just Write
- Write, write, write! Get down all of your information.
- Then, edit. You’ll waste more time by writing a sentence and editing it right after than if you write all your information down and then go over it. Plus, sometimes you may have all these good ideas that if you stop and edit every single sentence you write after you write it, you could possibly forget that amazing sentence that will WOW your teachers and yourself.
- If an idea or sentence comes to you that you want to put in later, write it down now and add it in later. Often you may forget your idea and you’ll waste more time by mulling over it trying to remember.
Don’t Be Ashamed to Ask For Help
- If you are doing a creative assignment, ask someone to help you out by cutting, colouring or gluing.
- If you’re doing a writing assignment, get someone to check your work or help you edit. Sometimes you can miss mistakes you’ve made or better clarification you could have included, that a second, fresh pair of eyes will catch.
- As well, sometimes you can have a hard time getting started and coming up with an idea that a second, unbiased party may be able to help you with. Don’t forget the value of asking for help.
**But remember to do most of the work yourself. **
- A teacher can always tell when students’ work is not their own so make sure you are doing the work yourself. It is acceptable to ask for help from others but make sure they are not doing the assignment for you.
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There you have it, a few tips on how to finish an assignment in one night.
If you find that some of these tips don’t work for you, find what does. These tips may not work for everyone but they can help eliminate some of the major distractions that we face.
Have this list on hand and if you ever find yourself in this situation again, you will now be prepared and ready to tackle the assignment head on!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an assignment due tomorrow that I need to finish!
— S ♥