On the other hand, a student who is given an assignment to be completed by the end of a semester might not have those immediate, externally imposed consequences. Being an electrical engineering student at day and a blogger at night, I usually procrastinate over term projects like thesis. Reconstructing my time table, maximizing my time & a self management approach might be the most efficient way.
Breaking down the Task
If your professor announces that a 30-page term paper to be submitted in one month, you most likely to barely avert an anxiety attack. You might even shake your head in self-pity and distress. Some might ask themselves, “How can I possibly write a thirty-page term paper with the plethora of other tasks I have?
Anxiety attacks at its severest a day or two before the paper is due. You might consider foregoing sleep for fort-eight hours for you to piece something together. The first step you have to do is to break the task down into smaller parts. This is the most fundamental step in tackling a problem. See Problem Solving Techniques. For example, in writing a term paper there involves
- Selecting your topic
- Researching or finding related materials
- Taking Notes
- Making a Draft
- Revision or proof reading
These sub-units can still be divided into smaller segments of work. If you keep subdividing these segments you’ll reach an amount that does not intimidate you. You’ll find this approach more pleasant than constantly reflecting on the totality of the project.
Forming a Schedule
Now that you’ve done breaking down the task, it’s time for you to form your schedule. During my second year in college where my first thesis was made, I struggled in forming a schedule for it. I was the group leader back then and I experienced having difficulties because some of my group members failed to do their task on the time I gave them. My mistake during that time is that I didn't formulate a tentative schedule for the sub units I have. Luckily I managed to pull the string and able to submit our thesis right just before the deadline.
Make a schedule that will require early completion of the first sub-unit and specify a final completion date before the dead-line of submission. Manage one task first and the remaining task will be as manageable.
Boost Your Productivity
Being productive is a necessity in order to accomplish something within a given time frame. You need to be productive each day when tackling major projects like term paper. You should also be productive when working on each sub-unit I’ve mentioned earlier. The impetus for attacking subsequent parts of a project is partially a function of completing earlier parts. Completing that first bit of work is especially reinforcing. It makes your next task appear considerably less foreboding. Have you notice that every time you write something, it is hard to formulate your first sentence but after doing it so, you’ll find yourself full of ideas and write as if there’s no tomorrow?(sorry for my exaggeration.XD).
One way to boost your productivity is to maximize your time. See 9 Tips on How to Maximize Your Time: Increasing Productivity. Knowing how to maximize your time would be the most efficient way in completing those sub-sequent parts.
If you presently accomplish your work with impeccable efficiency, kudos! You’ve done very well. However, if you consider yourself as one of those last-minute students, here’s my suggestion:
Stock up on your supply of coffee, cigarettes, snacks etc. for the last minute rush. :D