How to Manage Assignment Clusters

Assess the size of each task, and determine which assignments are the most difficult. Consider saving these for last.

The human mind certainly works in funny ways, and we all have a tendency to group problems or difficulties together - a process that only compounds our anxieties. Completing the assignments that you deem straightforward first will allow for the additional time required to tackle the more complicated tasks. It’s much less daunting to worry about one nightmarish essay, than it is to think ‘I have four essays to do’. Productivity breeds positivity.

Procrastination is the real enemy. If you can exorcise this demon, you’re already onto a winner!

Yep, that’s right. Being able to refrain from aimless Facebook scrolling and web browsing will require more discipline than any assignment. If you’re the kind of student who imposes a forty-five minute social media break each time you type a hundred words, you might need to consider asking a friend to change your passwords and babysit your accounts for a few days. A bit drastic perhaps, but nonetheless a tried-and-true method in eliminating distractions; and one that will also indicate how committed you are to the cause!

Whether you’re in your first year or your final year, there is always room for error. One or two bad assignments will not define your degree. It is extremely difficult to fully engage with and master the theories behind every module you study during your time at university. We all have that one module we just can’t seem to crack, and as a result, we struggle with it all year. Fortunately, degree classifications are weighted heavily in favour of the student these days, and it is completely possible to scrape through a couple of modules with pass grades in the low forties in each academic year, and still end up with a hallowed 2:1 honours degree. Successes are rewarded much more than failures are punished.

Prioritise your assignments above all else - especially part-time jobs. Paying £9,000 a year gives you the right to be selfish!

There is undoubtedly a huge grey area when it comes to the criteria for means-tested student loans; and unfortunately, for many students nationwide, a part-time job is often a necessity. And while it is always nice to have extra money available - by working overtime or unsociable hours - it is important to know when to work less and, instead, focus your energies on the studies that really will have a bearing on your future. There is no need to feel guilty for turning down additional shifts, or for denying your boss a favour here and there. Degrees don’t come cheap, so work hard, play hard, and be selfish when it comes to nurturing your prospects and personal successes.

Make sure to reward good work and productivity - create positive associations with essays.

Okay, some assignments are bloody awful, we’ll grant you that. Especially when the tutor on that particular module kept cancelling seminars for no apparent reason, and repeatedly failed to upload the lecture notes online. But there’s no reason why the process of essay writing has to be a wholly negative experience. Studying through the night in long stretches - granted, it might work for some - or leaving assignments until the very last minute, for example, are generally sure-fire ways to develop both stress and negative attitudes towards university work. These negative associations will inevitably impact upon the quality of the work; so it is important to remain pragmatic, and reward hard work with maybe a night out, an evening of junk food, or even something as simple as two hours in front of the TV. In theory, these positive associations should have a favourable impact on your assignments. Managing time effectively and being consistent throughout will negate the need to overdo it when deadlines begin to creep up.

With this said, all that’s left for us to do is wish you Good Luck. Stay calm, the summer holidays are in sight!

Keep an eye out for a blog on exam techniques next month…

It’s coming towards the business end of the academic year, and if you’re an undergraduate studying multiple modules simultaneously, there’s a good chance you’ll have a handful of assignment deadlines coming up - all to contend with in a short space of time. Here’s the UniHomes guide on how to stay cool, calm and collected all the way to the finishing line!

The days are growing longer, sunnier, and the sharp winter chill has all but faded for another year. The temptation to spend these days sat on either Endcliffe or Hyde Park with a cooler stuffed full of beer and wine is very real. And while you might have already excavated your trustiest suitcase from the depths of the cellar, unfortunately the reality of assignment and exam season stands between you and that glorious summer holiday. Generally speaking, there is no such thing as an easy assignment, or an easy exam, but there is excellent preparation.

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