Whether you are in school or the working world, staring at a long to-do list can be intimidating, especially if several assignments are due at the same time. There are many methods to cope with this stress, including defining priorities, developing time management skills, and practicing stress-relieving activities. You may choose to use some or all of these techniques in order to cope with this stress.
The first step in coping with multiple assignments is to assign priority levels to each assignment. It is important to find out which tasks are most important to your course grade or job because this is how you will decide the order in which to tackle the assignments.
For schoolwork, the level of importance can be determined by how much the assignment will affect the overall course grade. If an essay in one class is worth more than a worksheet assigned in a different class, then it the priority should be completing the essay rather than the worksheet. Tasks can be labeled both urgent and important, important but not urgent, or neither urgent nor important.
After defining which tasks have the highest levels of importance and urgency, you can create a prioritized to-do list. This to-do list will give you the peace of mind that you are on the right track while you are working.
Developing time management skills will show you how you use your time, which can help you make an educated guess as to how much time each assignment will take. Other benefits of time management can include increasing efficiency or productivity.
The first step to improving your time management skill is to record the amount of time that tasks take to complete. It is easy to block out estimated times for each assignment once you have identified how much time the tasks will take. With this knowledge you can build a set of goals for getting tasks done in priority order.
Stick to the schedule you have made for yourself, but take it easy on yourself if you cannot meet your time expectations. The process of time estimation will get easier with practice.
The last coping technique involves a long-term approach, but the results can include lower day-to-day stress levels, increased confidence and focus, and a more positive outlook on your life.
Examples of stress-relieving activities include yoga, meditation, regular physical exercise, and deep breathing practices. Developing a daily routine that utilizes one or more of these techniques can help you effectively cope with assignment overload.
These techniques can be used to cope if a number of assignments are due in simultaneously. There are other things that you may choose to do to cope with stress, but these are responsible approaches to problem solving. The only side-effects from these methods are coming to the conscious realization that you waste time, becoming too rigidly scheduled, or finding a new passion in one of the stress-relieving practices.