The Benefits of Planning Ahead
Finals is nearing, and with them, the need for a pen and paper to schedule every assignment out. Whether you're the planner type or the procrastinator type, odds are you have seen some benefits of pacing yourself through finals.
Planning ahead is something that a lot of us go without. When given a due date for an assignment, it is really easy to think, “Oh, I have an entire week to get that done. There is no real need to start on it now.” The problem with that is the assignment then gets shuffled to the back of the mind and doesn’t appear again until the day before the assignment is due.
At this point, some of you may be thinking: “Ok, what is the problem with that? Doing my assignments the night before does not really hurt me. I still get high grades even if I do wait until the last minute to submit.”
There are several issues with that mindset. The first is that you feel stressed while doing the assignment because you don’t have that much time to do it in. If the assignment is a more involved one, then you may have to spend all night on it and not get any sleep.
The second disadvantage is that there is no time to fix anything if something goes wrong. It isn’t just having trouble finding sources or putting what you mean into words. Sometimes the printer you’re using will suddenly refuse to print your paper. Sometimes you will be writing the paper, and your laptop will run out of battery and turn off without you being able to save your work. Life can throw curveballs, and it won’t stop doing so because you have an assignment due.
The last disadvantage is that you don’t have time to get a second opinion on your work. The MC Writing Center is a great place to get a second opinion, and tutors will still work with you if the assignment is due in thirty minutes. There is, however, a limit to what tutors can do in such a short time frame. Tutors are super people, but they can’t stop time or suddenly give you more of it to use.
Planning ahead can be hard to do sometimes, especially now towards the end of the semester when every class has assignments due at the same time. The key thing to remember when planning is not to let the list of assignments you have to do overwhelm you. When you have a lot to do, you tackle planning the same way you tackle eating a whale: one bite at a time.