A day cannot pass by without hearing the same old story, “I just pulled three all-nighters, my project still looks horrible, and it’s due today. I’m going to fail this class!” Every time I hear this complaint, I can’t help but thinking … “Am I really supposed to feel sympathetic?”
Let’s face it. Everyone is stressed out over work … and you are probably no worse off than anyone else at this school. Instead of complaining about our problems to everyone, why don’t we try to prevent them? Work related stress can be easily subdued with just a little planning ahead.
Having good time management is key to reducing stress. When a project is assigned, chart out the steps you will have to take to finish it. Make checkpoints spaced out over time until the due date so you don’t end up putting it off until the last minute. Do you only have a week? Okay, then try to have a sketched concept ready in 24 hours. Get your materials on your way back from class. Be halfway done by Saturday and another quarter of the way done on Monday. Planning will vary between majors, projects and classes, but with some common sense and advice from your professors you’ll be able to form a very manageable plan.
Schedule a meal break. It may sound absurd, having to set your phone alarm for 6:30 a.m. in order to remember to make a sandwich, but it’s very important to do. Maintaining a healthy diet, which involves three meals a day plus a snack or two, is important to stress relief. Don’t run on an empty tank, it’ll only damage your morale.
After that, schedule time to get some shut-eye. Pulling three all-nighters is not something to brag about. Your work quality will suffer from a lack of sleep, which will not impress your professors. It’ll only show them that you cannot manage your time well, and that will reflect on your grade.
Plan to finish early. That way, if something goes horribly wrong with the final product, you have some time to fix it. Avoid last-minute stress with some extra initiative to be ahead of schedule. In addition, if you are working digitally, save often. There’s no telling when a transformer will be knocked out by a car and the power for the entire building you’re in will go out, erasing all of your hard work. Be prepared for a disaster at all times.
Overall, be sure to find a plan that works for you. Different people work in different ways. Stay confident about your work; assuming that you’ll do poorly will only stress you out even more. Be like the little engine that could, and keep telling yourself you can finish this project and you will ace it. Then you’ll be less stressed, and you’ll finish your project with A+ quality.Contact Kelsey Norden.