Deadlines. We all have them - whether self-imposed (you don't actually need to get married by 28, do you!?) or imposed on us by our higher-ups (like the beastly 12-page term paper I've been slaving away at throughout the day). But how do we keep afloat when we feel like we're slowly drowning?
1. Break things down into small chunks.
Things always appear super-scary before they're completed, wouldn't you say!? But if you actually make a to-do list, whether digital (fave apps to download: Wunderlist and Evernote !! Such life-savers, really) or on paper (I recommend this one and this one), they'll be sure to help!
2. Take much-deserved brain breaks.
Working non-stop to the point where you get burnt out is the total opposite of ideal during this time. Be sure to work in one hour chunks with a fifteen-minute break at the start of every hour. Trust me on this one, you'll be way more productive than if you attempt to work straight through!
3. Have a support system.
Besides you supporting yourself, it always helps to have a little extra love during these mentally-rigorous times. Find people who you know you'll be able to rely on for a pep talk, a conversation, a coffee - your mother, your brother, your boyfriend, your grandma - anyone who will be there for you when you need to shed some tears or shout about whatever it is that's temporarily (and evilly!) taking control over your life for the time being.
4. …And a reward system!
If you're going to be working this hard, you really ought to treat yourself for a job well done after you complete the job! Pick eating at your favorite restaurant, a pair of cute earrings, a new adorable leash for your equally-as-adorable pooch (am I biased by those pink lime on that collar!? You bet!!) - whatever it is, make this prize something you will only get to indulge in once the project is finally done.
5. Think to the future.
This isn't going to last forever. Remember that. Keep in mind how bright and beautiful your future will be once you complete this. The only thing standing in the way of you and that amazing future is you finishing up your task!
6. …But focus on the present!
Do the task. Right now. Go! Log out of Pinterest/Facebook/Bloglovin' and just get your shizznit done! (Coming from the girl who's writing this post in a cafe instead of getting back to her paper, hmmm… *covers face with hands guiltily*)
7. Build confidence.
If you're your own worst enemy, you can't possibly expect to have those great results you want so well! It's okay to be your best friend. Even if cheerleading was never your thing (HA those splits… yeeeah, not happening!), now is the time to shout "Yay me!!" again and again until you love yourself as much as you truly ought to.
8. Don't be afraid of failure.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many of the greats failed before they became the incredibly successful people they are today. Albert Einstein didn't do too well in his math classes, so think of the worst-case scenario:you wind up not doing too well on this project, after all. In no way does this define who you are as a human being, nor does it define your self-worth! You will still be infinitely lovely, even if that horrible "what-if!?" comes true. You must know this, believe this, and treasure this.
9. …Similarly, don't let your perfectionism paralyze you.
Often times, I catch myself not even wanting to begin my project because I just want every little thing I do to be just right. No flaws, no errors. The way I've learned to combat this, though, is to realize that drafts are your friends. I write a first draft of every paper in total baby, 3rd-grader language. Then I rewrite it up to 7th-grader language. Then high schooler language (not Senior spring, though -- yikes! ;) hahahaha), and ultimately, I raise the level of diction and syntax up to par with ideal college-level work. By realizing that all perfect things stem from what was once inherently imperfect, I am able to cope with my tendency to be paralyzed by my perfectionism!
10. Take a nap.
No shame!!! 30-minute naps work a world of wonders when it comes to getting recharged and feeling fresh. Around 2-o-clock is ideal, unless of course, you're stuck in the office… in that case, head to the nearest espresso bar and ask for a double shot!
Best of luck with conquering your deadlines, my lovelies!!