Are you gearing up for finals? Can’t wait for it all to be over? Does this sound like you? “I know I shouldn’t wait until the last minute and pull an all-nighter. My work isn’t the best it could be, but it’s the only way I can get motivated.”
Getting back on track:
You can still get yourself back on track, even with a few days left. And here’s how. Assess your time:
- Make a calendar. Get some paper, open up a spread sheet, or set up a Google calendar.
- Sketch out a calendar for the upcoming days remaining in the school year. Block out both the days and leave space for the hours of the day. Here’s a weekly planner to give you an idea of what it might look like. (You can also download and print it.)
- Block out on your calendar plan all your classes and other critical time commitments (ex. job, sports — things you MUST do).
- Block out when you’ll be sleeping and eating.
- On the second page, list all the other things you have to get done.
- Circle the items that have big consequences for not getting them done.
- Everything else is lower priority right now. You can even let them fall off the list for now.
Break your project into smaller bits:
- Identify all the steps you need to do to get a big project done. For a paper, for instance, you need time to do research, brainstorm and/or write a draft, write the final draft, and hand it in.
- Block of time on your calendar for each of those steps.
- If it looks like you have extra hours left on your calendar plan, look to the next higher priority tasks and start scheduling them until you run out of hours in the day.
- Don’t forget to schedule some short breaks along the way.
Stick to your plan!
- Keep the plan with you 24/7. Put it in your agenda, or your phone.
- Keep checking your plan. Stick to it to the best of your ability. If it’s 1:00 pm and your plan says you should be done with lunch and working on the draft, go work on the draft.
- Remember, it is an emergency plan to get you through a tough spot. One way or another, it will be over soon.
How an ADHD Coach can help
- If you find yourself in a last minute study crunch so much of the time it feels like a habit, and ADHD coach can help you avoid emergency situations in the first place.
- One of the characteristics of ADHD is a tendency to shoot from the hip, or the “ready, fire, aim” syndrome. A coach works with you over time to develop better planning and self-management skills; skills that will help you manage your time and your things so you’re on top of your work and the rest of your life and not overwhelmed and behind all the time.
- Once you’ve met your deadline, get yourself a coach. By working with a coach, you can stay on top of your work and have fun too!