So, for those of us with anxiety and poor coping skills, assignment deadlines can be a real issue. During my schooling days, I had a lot of difficulties handing things in on time. I had tried so many different planning strategies and action strategies, but nothing seemed to really help me in the long term.
Everything just seemed to be on an assignment by assignment basis. I had tried tutoring sessions with my teachers after school to plan out and complete different steps in order to get the whole assignment completed. Thinking that being held accountable by the actual teacher might actually mean that I get something done… but it didn’t. What really happened is that it just turned one deadline into a bunch of smaller deadlines. No Bueno.
I used to tell myself that I worked better under stress by “completing” (read that as starting) the assignment the night before it was due. Which, in reality, just meant that I had less time to edit and actually do the research for upper-grade level assignments.
So, what did eventually work for me?
It wasn’t until recently that I figured out the best way I could actually get work done was to actually have an accountability group where we would all just plug away together on our own stuff. I am still a part of this accountability group that meets weekly online with our cameras off on Zoom. Everyone comes to the session with a list of a few things they have to work on and the regularly scheduled meeting where we have no distractions and we even have a chance to bounce ideas off of each other at the end of the session.
What could this look like for YOU as a student?
First, find yourself a group of people that also have the desire to get work done. Schedule a time that fits for most people and SHOW UP.
Be sure to know that this is different than a study session where everyone is working on the same thing because it is easy to get distracted by helping others study, but not studying the material for yourself.
You can also plan a session at the local library where everyone works at the table and gets their own stuff done. Or, if you like staying at home, feel free to schedule your own Zoom meeting (for groups larger than 2, the Free version of Zoom times out at 40 minutes, but its easy enough to just hop right back on and start another 40 minute session.)
Having the weekly session means that assignments get done regularly, instead of on an as-needed basis. It gives you a chance to commit to yourself that you actually need to study.
And for the times when you don’t actually have any assignments to work on, rewrite and/or organize your class notes so that you know where everything is when you need it. Just because you don’t have an assignment, doesn’t mean you get to skip the session. Get some other stuff done. Or help someone else with their stuff. Just don’t fall into the habit of helping others when you have your own stuff to do.