Deadline Tips

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This time last year i was in my final year of University and i was no stranger to deadlines and all the stress that came along with them; as my course was assessment based i didn't have to deal with exam stress too but i know that both deadline and exam season is approaching so i thought I'd share with you some tips that i picked up and found helpful last year when i was doing both my final project and my dissertation.

I'm aware that people work differently so what i may have found helpful may be more of an hindrance to someone else; hopefully these are helpful or that you can cater them in someway so that they work for you! If you have any helpful tips definitely leave a comment below!

Tidy Desk Space
Every day before i started doing any work id quickly tidy up my desk space; so that it was easier to find anything i needed. I found id work better with a tidy desk as id spend less time procrastinating and id also stress less about being unable to find things because everything would be back in its place or easy to get. Id also remove any items that you think might be a distraction to you.

Plan Ahead
This is a tip i found most useful for both my dissertation and my final project - i basically looked at how much time i had until my deadline and worked out everything that i needed to do; from sketchbook work to the computer, from first ideas to re-edits and touch ups all the way to printing off final boards and similarly with the dissertation; i look at what sections i had to do, how many words i wanted for each section up to the time to compile my bibliography and reference list to getting it printed and bound - if you know how much time you have and how much you need to do, you can assign bits to do each day. It sounds a lot but this was so helpful for me because some days i might have only set one task but id complete it quicker than expected so would have started tomorrows and then it left me with a bit more free time and it also means i could keep track of your progress and wasn't really left with any last minute surprises.

Only have what you need & Keep everything else close by
This works best if you plan ahead (above tip) because if you know what you're going to be doing in that particular day or session; you can make sure you have the right notes or things you need and that way you won't be surround with things you won't need (tidy desk tip) however, i would recommend keeping everything else somewhere close by so you don't have to go wondering off to search for anything as that an easy way to get distracted by something.

Regular Breaks
Take regular breaks; for me personally alot of my work was done on my laptop and id be on it for hours, sometimes all day so it was important to take regular breaks otherwise id end up with a killer headache. Also, without regular breaks i noticed that id find my motivation to work would start to drop and id get less done. So every hour or two id get up from my desk and walk around my house or just do something to give me a break - no longer than 15-20mins otherwise you just won't go back to your desk.

Background Noise
This is more of a personal preference but i personally can't work in complete silence, it makes me more aware of the fact that i have work to do and it reminds me of exam conditions too and it does not help with motivation. I find i work better with background noise; i did my dissertation with all the Harry Potter movies on in the background and my final project i had the Friends box set playing, as they are shows/films I'm familiar with i didn't find myself distracted by them because i knew what was going to happen. I found it more comforting to have noise in the background and the conditions were more relaxing.

I drank an insane amount of Caramel Lattes, Tea and Diet coke during deadline season; i constantly made sure i had big bottles of diet coke in my room so i didn't constantly wonder off to make drinks and the hot drinks i made on my breaks. Water would probably be a better recommendation but i was a big diet coke drinker so i opted for that.

I always made sure i had some sweets, crisps or chocolate in my little sweet drawer i have (you can obviously opt for whichever snacks you like) i have a big sweet tooth and i generally enjoy eating, so i wanted to avoid distracting myself but thinking of food or constantly wondering off to go and get something and having them close by meant i avoided that. If you're going to be doing this for a long period of time, id recommend opting for healthy snacks!

Sometimes its really easy to lose motivation; i know i lost mine on many occasions, when you feel this happening try and remember why you're doing it in the first place, why you need it - this is obviously something you want or are working towards otherwise you wouldn't be doing it. If all that fails, just remember that once you've finished it - you're done, no more revision, deadlines or stress and you can spend your days however you want to.

If you're working towards a big deadline or about to enter exam season; i hope some of these tips were helpful anyway and best of luck!
Natalie xx


  1. I could never work in silence either, I still can't even at work x

    1. I need some noise in the background, i find it more distracting when its silent!
      Natalie xx

  2. I like silence, especially in lessons and exams, but I know that when I do my homework I have the television on in the background as it helps me think. x

    1. Ahh thats unusual isnt it, but i get what you mean! I need background noise but i wouldnt be able to work if it was really loud and rowdy - i need the right balance!
      Natalie xx

  3. This post has been incredibly helpful, my course is all essay based and this week I have my final two essays due in for the year, and I'm finding it incredibly difficult to stay motivated! Usually I'm a good planner or time but this time I've really stuck my head in the sand with it. Although, I've set up my space, made sure that like you, drinks and snacks are on hand, rather than having to go wondering, and I reward my self for every like 500 words I write with maybe like 15 minutes on facebook or something like that. I always need incentives! xo

    Hannah | Glitter and Sparkle


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