Monday, October 18, 2010

It's 2:00 am... is your homework done?

You blew it. You kept telling yourself that you would finish that project early this time, but now it's 8:00 pm, the night before it is due, and you're freaking out. Don't worry, I'm not here to scold you about procrastination; instead, I'm here to help. Take a deep breath, and follow these steps.
  • 8:00 pm- CHILL OUT. Calm down. You won't get anything done if you're running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Chill out, and tell yourself that you're not going to get distracted or do anything else until you get this done. (Get off of Facebook!)

  • 8:00 pm- Examine. Take a critical look at the assignment. Is it an essay? a poster? a power point? a model? Determine what supplies you need to finish this project, and clear your working space to get started.

  • 8:15 pm- Break it up. Break up the project into small, easy-to-swallow pieces. A bunch of small steps look much more manageable than a massive assignment. Make a checklist, get comfortable (you may be here for a while), and realistically plan out the time it will take, to keep you on track.

  • 8:30 pm- Start. What are you waiting for? Dive head-on into the assignment. Focus on content as opposed to small things like decorations and color. In the end, the content is what will scrape up points for you, not the clip art.

  • 12:30 am- Evaluate. After you have worked for a good few hours, take a step back and analyze. How much do you have done? How much do you need to do? If you can reasonably finish within the next hour or two, go ahead. If not, skip down to the next step.

  • 1:30 am- Go to sleep. If you just can't take it anymore, and find yourself getting easily distracted, go to bed. Chances are, by this time, you're cranky, you're frustrated, your productivity level has tanked, and you're cursing your teacher's name. My internal limit is usually around 2:00, but it varies from person to person. Go to sleep, and put your alarm on for early in the morning so you can finish then (Depending on when your school starts, this could be anywhere from 3:00 to 5:00).; you'll be surprised how much just one or two hours of sleep can change your outlook on the project.

  • 7:30 am- If you still aren't done... Hopefully, you've finished by now. If not, take it to school, and work on in every spare second you have, whether it be before class, after class, or during lunch.

  • DEADLINE- Turn it in... or talk. If you feel moderately satisfied with what you've completed, just turn it in. Even if its incomplete, you might be able to scrape up a passing grade. If what you've finished is nothing close to done, talk to your teacher. Some teachers, if you are completely honest and sincere, will give you an extra day to finish, albeit they might take a few points off. If they don't let you, just turn in what you have (hey, it's better than a zero), and learn from your experience. And keep your ears perked for extra credit!

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