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This story originally appeared on Calendar
Everybody makes mistakes, but nobody wants to. Missing an assignment is a common mistake that we have all made at some point. While sometimes a solution can be as simple as pushing back the deadline, missing major assignments can cost you your job or a good grade in your classes.
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Whether you’re struggling with school assignments, work projects, or balancing them both, this guide will help you never miss another assignment no matter what:
Write Down Everything
Start by writing absolutely everything you can about your project or assignment. Then, put every assignment due date into your Calendar with no exceptions. Even the smallest of deadlines are worth taking note of. You can use multiple calendars to spread out tasks by topic; just remember to have them all pulled into one Calendar — like the Calendar app, so you don’t miss a date.
Never Miss an Assignment Again
Using an online Calendar means you can have access to your assignment list no matter where you are. Having direct access wherever you are will come in handy. Remember when you’ve had a paper due at midnight while you’re at a friend’s house and need to log on really quickly to upload your information? Your online Calendar will sync across all devices. You want to be able to check due dates on your smartphone as well as when you’re sitting at a computer.
If you like to physically write things down, go ahead! The action of writing things down can help improve memory, which is extremely important if you’re hoping to never miss an assignment again.
Give Yourself Plenty of Reminders
Even when everything is written down in your Calendar, there’s still a chance that you will forget an upcoming due date. However, a healthy dose of reminders ensures that not even the smallest detail gets overlooked over time. After all, a lot can happen between the day you write down as assignment due date and the day it actually arrives.
For example, you can set a reminder the day before an assignment is due for school to make sure that you have it completed. As you clock into work, a morning reminder will remind you of the tasks you need to complete by the end of your shift. These reminders force you to look at your Calendar after you fill it in initially.
Check Your Email to Start the Day
Last-minute changes happen, often due to circumstances out of your control. Even so, you should be aware of these changes so that you don’t get caught off guard. Checking your email at the beginning of each day should do the trick.
By starting your day off by scanning emails, you’ll be able to see the message your manager sent you at midnight notifying you that they expect your next assignment to be completed a day earlier. If you neglected to check your email in the middle of the night or at the start of your shift, you would be completely unaware of this change until it might be too late to do anything about it.
An email from your professor might contain a new assignment list for the following week. If you miss this email, you won’t be able to change up your Calendar in time to adjust your timetable and study schedule.
Communicate With Others
To avoid mishaps with upper management, make an effort to communicate often. Set clear expectations with your manager about how and when to communicate, so you’re not always getting the brunt of last-minute adjustments.
If your work gives you too many assignments, you’re more likely to miss a deadline or two due to the heavy workload. Your workload is another thing you can communicate with your superiors. If you don’t make it known that you’re feeling overwhelmed, nothing will change.
Communicating with coworkers and peers is also essential. We’ve all had a poor experience doing a group project where certain members of the group fail to pull their weight. Staying connected with them won’t be easy, but it will ensure that their feet-dragging won’t be the reason a project isn’t ready to submit on time. A reliable project member can also help you stay on top of deadlines as they arrive by sharing the responsibility.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Most of the time, when you miss an assignment, it’s because a mistake was made, even if only a small one. To stop missing assignments, learn from the mistakes you make to avoid repeating them. Over time, you’ll be a master of punctuality and completing deadlines.
Some mistakes we’ve already covered, in a sense. For example, failing to write down your due dates leaves a lot of room for error regarding late assignments. If this has happened to you, learn from your mistakes by vowing to write everything down from this point forward.
If you’re making an active effort to learn and improve, mistakes only need to happen once before you learn from them. For example, after putting a deadline on the wrong day in your Calendar once, you’ll be a lot more careful in the future.
Flexible due dates are the worst for chronic procrastinators. The due date will keep getting pushed back until its breaking point, and often ends up coming in late because of it. Staying on top of all your assignment means kicking procrastination to the curb.
If you have a problem with procrastinating, try to find a sense of urgency. Give yourself rewards for getting tasks done early. Use your Calendar to put together a work plan that ensures you’re chipping away at month-long projects. Do whatever it takes to avoid cramming in work at the last minute.
Don’t get too comfortable even when these tips start to show results. You need to stay on top of your game in order to meet all your deadlines with precision. You’ll be able to form better habits along the way but never let up, and you’ll never miss an assignment again.
Image Credit: ketut subiyanto; pexels; thank you!