I admit that I am something of a procrastinator. I have finished more research papers on Thanksgiving weekend than I care to remember. And even now, I am much more likely to be scrambling to get something completed right before deadline than having it finished early. I usually make it, but it’s not a pretty sight.
From working in the library and watching students, I realized that the really successful ones are those who make a running start. They are the ones who are in the library before the semester begins: checking out the syllabi, looking for various versions of the textbooks, or even just checking out the locations of their classes.
They view the semester as a long-distance run, balancing out their time and energy over an entire semester period, instead of a last-of-term sprint. By starting out strong, these folks give themselves many advantages:
- By keeping up with assignments or even staying a little ahead, they know immediately when they have a problem in a class and can solve it while it’s still small.
- If a problem pops us (illness, work conflicts, or problem cars), they have enough time to still get class work done.
- They don’t have to emotionally gear up halfway through the semester to get a mountain of work done. They are already there, and the amount of work left is more like a hill than a mountain.