Ever experienced the pain-staking task of starting that dreaded assignment late, because that magical epiphany just didn’t come your way? Well even if that moment of great revelation doesn’t seem to come easily at times, let’s see if we can’t make some adjustments for these instances and get that assignment on track and underway!
First things first- fight the urges, you’ve got this. My top procrastination moments include indulging in a gourmet lunch… because that seems like a better idea than staring at the blank document for another second, aimlessly trying to gather my thoughts. How about those times I decided to get up and clean the light shade because I noticed they were getting dusty while staring around the room off-task and distracted… Oh and there goes my son again with the play dough, I might just choose to impress him and make a garage for his match box car again rather than continue on. I have even found myself daydreaming and then suddenly remembering that my hair could do with a fresh colour and my assignment comes out on the bottom yet again.
(Yes, that is one of my all-time favourite snacks thought of and created in a history making moment of procrastination)
If you are anything like me, there is hope out there! Take comfort that with just a few minor adjustments to approaching those assignments that just don’t seem to be coming to you, you can fight the urges and beat some of that frustration.
- It seems obvious but- know what the assignment is, read the outline early and give yourself time before you even need to get it underway to wrap your head around the task at hand.
- If it helps highlight, highlight and highlight some more. Highlight that marking criteria, the readings, relevant lecture slides and even learning objectives.
- Brainstorm, take the time to make a colourful, creative and interesting mind map of your ideas, how they link together and relate back to the assignment. Conceptualising the assignment in this manner can help open up your mind and give you a framework that you can build on.
- Plan ahead and break-it-down. Bite-sized pieces can literally make things that little more easily digested and give you the opportunity to become increasingly motivated, making progress by way of miniature-goals.
- Don’t forget to work logically and if there is an example- follow the format. Relate the points that are covered in each paragraph of the example back to the topic of your assignment and get them covered.
- What about getting a change of scenery? I like to take my study outside and catch some of the sunshine rather than sitting in my ever-so un-inspiring lounge room for hours on end. (Tip: Just don’t forget to use paper weights… sometimes the wind comes along to rain on your parade and oops there’s 90 pages littering your entire backyard.)
Failing all of this I am sure we are all apt or will become at some stage throughout your degree, well versed in the good old last-minute approach. There ain’t no motivation or inspiration like that of the looming 11:55 pm EASE submission cut-off. WARNING to first timers, this approach may result in serious psychological pain and chronic back fatigue. Not recommended for the faint-hearted- that’s for sure! But really you can expect to gain some pretty awesome assignment writing strategies from your degree. Even the most experienced of us struggle at times to get the ball rolling on an assignment. If you get stuck you might like to think back to this blog and give some of the tips a go or you might use them as inspiration to develop your own.
All-in-all just do whatever gets it done, happy assignment writing my fellow phoenix’s!