Breaking Down Deadlines


I will admit that when I was in high school and college, I would always wait till the very last second to write my reports.  When I say “last second,” I mean literally the night before.  And I loved it.

I love the thrill and rush of trying to meet a deadline at the last second.  I love the adrenaline rush of printing out that paper and handing it with only an hour to go.

What I never liked, however, pulling an all-nighter, and barely being able to function the next day.  What I never enjoyed was running out of printer ink at four o’clock in the morning.  What I never liked was revising and reprinting my reports twenty times because my brain and eyeballs were too fried to proofread effectively.

It’s not enough to just mark a due date on your planner (or todo list).  You need a due date for each and every step-up leading up to completing that major project or task.

Writing a paper for example has the following due dates:

  • Pick general topic
  • Research general topic
  • Formulate a thesis statement
  • Create general outline of paper
  • Gather research material
  • Read research material
  • Write first draft
  • Proofread first draft
  • Revise first draft
  • Proofread revised draft
  • Write final draft
  • Proofread final draft
  • Print final draft
  • Submit final draft

Each step above would have its own due date.  It may look a little overwhelming, but accomplishing each task in this small chunks won’t be as overwhelming as trying to write a book report on a 300 page book you never read the night before it’s due. . . with a presentation.

Yes, I’ve done that.  And, no, I’m not proud of it.  But, yes, I did get an A.

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