5 Steps to Defeating Deadlines for Online Students

William Woods Adult Degrees

Deadlines. For college students, it isn’t always a pretty word. They can follow us like a rain cloud over our heads. They loom in the back of our minds. But they don’t have to be that way.

In our series about managing stress and time, we’ve covered using stress to your advantage and study tips for online students. This week, we’re hoping to make ‘deadline’ a less frightening word.

Some companies base their entire business model on the fact that people often miss deadlines: tax extensions, next day shipping, belated birthday cards. But unfortunately, turning in an assignment “belated” might not fly with your professor, and eventually your boss. Fortunately, there are several things students can do to keep deadlines a top priority and ensure they’re met. Take these:

    1. Make little deadlines.
      Professors often schedule deadlines within projects to help us spread out workload. By breaking down the work you have to do, and seeing your own deadlines within big projects, you can balance out a project and make that looming deadline a more manageable feat. For example, if you’re writing a paper, set yourself deadlines for having your sources together, completing the research, writing the outline, writing the research paper and editing.
    2. Set early deadlines.
      Set deadlines for yourself that come sooner than your actual deadline. Finishing an assignment ahead of schedule reduces stress and gives you something to be proud of. It also leaves more time to handle technical difficulties, like printer problems or Wifi issues.
    3. Take deadlines seriously.
      If you value punctuality it will stand out. Dedication to deadlines shows your professors, colleagues, supervisors, etc., that the work you’re turning in matters to you.
    4. Prioritize your deadlines.
      Not all deadlines are created equal. A final capstone presentation is a bigger deal than one comment on a discussion board. Make sure you organize your time so you aren’t spending too much of it on little things and not allotting enough for big things.
    5. Reward yourself.
      Be proud when you’ve met a deadline. Get excited about all of your accomplishments. Celebrate milestones. And in the end, relax!

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