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Mike’s Top 3 Time Management Tips For Writing Papers

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Written by BookRenter Mike

“You have a tendency to overstate things.” Those are the words my Professor wrote to explain why he decided to give me a B on my paper. Why did I tend to do this you ask? The politically correct answer would be that I was trying to emphasize my point. But the real reason? Yep, I wrote my paper the night before it was due and was probably repeating myself in order to make sure I wrote enough pages. Sound familiar? Everybody does it, we all procrastinate and hate ourselves for it, but the cycle never seems to stop. In my opinion it’s about time to wise up, so here are my top 3 tips for practicing good time management when writing papers.

by English106

by English106

1. Write out an Academic Calendar with the due date of every upcoming assignment.

Although this may seem like a time waster, especially if you wait until the end of the semester, it will help keep you incredibly organized and focused. According to Kelci Lynn, “Write down everything in one place. The crazier your schedule gets, the more important this becomes.” Seems like great advice to me – I probably won’t wait to the last minute to write my next paper if I know I have a huge test the next day as well.

2. When writing your essay, make sure to keep track of time to ensure efficiency.

My roommate spent about 8 hours at the library last night and came back only to say, “I got nothing done; I’m never taking my computer again.” Often times we think we are being productive only to realize we just spent the last 30 minutes checking our e-mail. To fix this Michael Stelzner provides a great article about time management that includes a PDF spreadsheet designed to help keep track of your time. I guarantee you won’t be wasting your time filling a time tracker chart out.

3. When you say you are going to write your paper early, actually start it!

Mental toughness in the classroom is often talked about but never really focused on. Naturally it’s assumed that college students have strong self-discipline. But don’t worry; it’s OK if you have a hard time following through on your essay goals – just check out Mahanthi Bukkapaptnam’s article about developing self-discipline. His main piece of advice? Self-discipline should be built around positive thoughts (I could get an A on this essay if I start early) instead of negative thoughts (I better start soon or I won’t finish at all).

Bottom line: it’s OK to procrastinate a little bit as long as you do so efficiently. Just make sure you leave time for some sleep before finishing up that last concluding sentence.

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