The semester ends in a few weeks time. Deadlines are fast approaching and tensions are rising. Time seems to be moving faster every moment. Your assignment is all the more frustrating, you seem not to be making progress. Your caffeine intake has doubled in the past week. You’re thinking of what you have to do even while you’re asleep. You’re dreaming of when all of this will be over. Don’t worry, we’re all in this together. You don’t have to beat yourself up about not keeping to your schedule, unless you procrastinated. One thing to take into account is that even when you plan your schedule and manage it obsessively, it’s still possible to run into crunch time scenarios. Sometimes, new ideas emerge while working and you want to put your best in to your work. This post will give you possible ways to handle crunch time:
1. One important attribute to cultivate during crunch time is calmness. Personally, I get inspiration from my faith, particularly the following passage “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. I apply this philosophy during crunch time. When the storm of 4 assessments due in two weeks is raging, it is important not to panic and worry. It is very difficult to get work done when on panic mode.
2. Crunch times are a study on focus. Knock out all distractions and narrow your mind to the requirements of your work. Put on the ‘finish it’ mentality. Crunch time is not the time to experiment with new work patterns. A big lesson to be learnt from focussing is just how efficient we can be during periods of deep work.
3. Sometimes, its possible to waste time because of conflicting ideas. Putting your work on a priority scale can help in going straight to the point (hitting the nail on the head; bullseye). Deal with the big tasks on the assignment first before the smaller ones.
4. Shut off notifications everywhere. That phone beside you can be a big deterrent during crunch time. That TV show notification that pops up. Your favorite YouTube channel notification. Shut them all off.
5. Break down the tasks and set a time to accomplish them. For example, if you’re writing a big essay with an introduction, a big body and a conclusion you can break the body into 3 parts and set a time to finish each segment. Work hard to beat the time you have set.
6. Headphones help with focussing. Oh how amazing headphones are during crunch time. Get into your own world and focus on your work.
7. Taking breaks is vital. It may seem counterproductive, but if your mental gears are grinding on full throttle it may be refreshing to do something else for a little while.
8. Focus on being healthy during crunch time. Do not overdose on caffeine, eat well, create time for sleep by setting good work times, take a break and call someone who makes you happy. You will want to avoid post-crunch sickness.
9. Reward yourself when it’s all done. This should serve as a motivator to get past crunch time.
So let’s all put this to practice and I’m sure we can all conquer crunch time over and over again till we become crunch killers. 🙂
If you have any tips for crunch time please share them in the comments below!