Academics

Last Minute Essay Completion in 5 Simple Steps

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It has happened to the best of us! Essay deadlines are looming and you have done nothing but written the title! Then the self-reprimanding ensues, why have you left it this late!? Not a single word! It is too late now, kiss your degree goodbye! This can never happen again! Enough of that… recognizing the issue is one thing, going about rectifying it is another.

Breathe deep and follow these simple steps to completion.

Take short breaks

An effective way to get things done is to set realistic goals. You are not going to write a 4000-word essay in hour and expect even mediocre marks! An easy method to follow is the Pomodoro Technique. Named after the tomato shaped timer Francesco Cirillo used when inventing this time management system. The rules are simple:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
  3. Work on the task until the timer rings. If a distraction pops into your head, write it down, but immediately get back on task.
  4. After the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 1.
  6. After four Pomodoro’s, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.

Short breaks are effective at reducing overlearning, allowing one to keep focussed on their goal. Breaking up the time means you could work for over 100 minutes, without even realising!

Many students attribute their essay completions to this method so give it a go! It might not be for everyone but anything’s worth a try in this period of desperation and you can always adapt it to your needs.

Say no to the phone and reduce FOMO

A controversial one, but very important! The easiest way to reduce distraction is to limit technology! So turn off those phones people! Instagram can wait for an afternoon! It’s so enticing to scour through social media and even if you allow yourself five minutes, an hour will go by before you’ve even checked the time!

Additionally, it is far too tempting to see what your gang is up to and you run the risk of putting off your essay yet again for what appears to be a better offer. Remember what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t yearn for!  You can make this time up twofold once you have submitted your work, so try to abstain!

Sleep

I know it seems ridiculous and that you just don’t have the time to, but sleep is paramount for healthy brain function! No one can get the best out of themselves if they’ve only had an hour the night before! Make sure you set aside at least 6 hours a night to sleep and if the stress of the work load is keeping you up; have a calming tea and a relaxing bath, read a book and avoid blue light! Imagine all your obligations are being locked away in a box until morning and don’t forget everything seems far less daunting after a good few Zs!

Brain food

It is easy to simply order in when you have very little time, but keeping healthy snacks nearby will dampen that hunger and aid in your brain processing. Bananas are always a good choice; they have slow releasing energy and fill you up rapidly! An excellent option for those who prefer something a little more comforting is beans on wholemeal toast and if you want to be extra indulgent sprinkle on the cheese. Think quick, think vitamins, think full!

In addition, don’t forget to stay hydrated, always have a bottle of water nearby to keep your body in tip top condition!

And most importantly…

Don’t fret

Remember running late on an assignment is not the end of the world and it is certainly not uncommon! You and probably tens of others have found yourself in this boat and the worst thing you could possibly do is panic. Stressing can lead to one burying their head in the sand, avoiding all work completely and we don’t want that! Take this as a lesson, inhale a deep breath and put your best foot forward!

And don’t forget once your busy weekend is complete, life goes back to normal!

Victoria Nufer

London based writer, Victoria is currently studying English and Drama at Goldsmiths College, University of London. With a passion for poetry, she has been published several times through United Press and was chosen as a winner for their annual National Poetry Anthology in 2015! Appreciates writing in all forms, she looks to expand into the world of journalism upon graduation!