By the time we reach University some of us have already figured out a way to prioritize our responsibilities. University can throw a wrench is some of the best laid plans though. There’s more to keep track of and sometimes the deadlines are tighter. In addition, there’s often many extra-curricular activities drawing our attention away from them. So how do we continue to prioritize and meet deadlines?
I know many people that can simply rely on their memory for meeting their deadlines. I was never so lucky. Out of sight, quite often out of mind. However, this strategy does work quite well for many.
Many use their regular study groups to help stay on track. This can be a great method for continuing to make progress on projects and ensuring that you meet deadlines. The key is to make sure that your study group as a whole is diligent – there’s nothing worse than the whole group accidentally missing a deadline. A great study group will ensure that you stay on top of your projects and that you nail every deadline!
Many find that a Planner works quite well for them. While many use a paper planner I think the majority of people have now transitioned to a calendar on our phones to keep track of deadlines.
One trick of the trade that I have learned and carried through into the workplace is to not just put in deadlines in my calendar but also to calendar in time slots to do the actual work. This helps me plan my days well and ensures that I don’t end up doing any late night cramming.
Another great strategy used by many of us is to enter advance deadlines. In other words, if a project is due on Friday, many of us will add it to our calendars as a Wednesday deadline. This allows us to finish projects ahead of time and look good to our instructors (or employers), but also in the unfortunate situation where we find we’ve run up against this deadline the pleasant news is that there actually is two more days to complete the project. It’s sort of a fail-safe strategy.
What are your Strategies for Prioritizing Work?
Do you rely on your memory to meet deadlines? Do you use a planner and if so, how do you use it? What types of deadlines do you track? Do you slot out work time as well as deadlines? I’d love to hear what you’ve found works best for you.