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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rollins chapter.

If there’s one thing we learned from online school, it’s that you don’t want to miss out on anything. If someone asks you to go to dinner, you go. If someone asks you to go to the game, you agree to go even if you don’t like sports, since the thought of being stuck at home still haunts you. Having a bunch of activities planned for the week sounds great until you realize you have a paper due the next day.

At this point, you contemplate whether doing something fun or getting your work done is more important. I can attest to how it gets tricky when you know something fun is happening, but you have to stay in to do work. Luckily, my friends are like-minded in that we all share the same mentality that we can’t go out until we get everything done. However, for some, this is easier said than done. Here are three steps you can take to ensure you get your work done while still having a good time. 

Set notification deadlines as phone alarms

Although this may sound daunting, that’s pretty much the point. If you keep getting alerts on your phone about an essay deadline, the stress will overpower the strong feeling you have to say yes to a plan. Depending on how many times you would like to be reminded of your assignments, it can range from every day, to every hour, to every 30 minutes – you can adjust based on your preference. This stress will help you to make the smart decision to take care of what you need finished. 

Write a To-Do List

I’ve heard many people say that writing down tasks motivates you to complete them. You can choose whether to write it in a planner or sticky notes, but just make sure you put the list in a spot you see often. Sticky notes may be more effective because you can stick them on your walls, so you’re reminded more often than if it were on your desk. This method is effective because as you cross tasks off your list, your brain will want to cross the rest off, encouraging you to get it over with right at that moment. 

Get your work done as soon as you get it

Personally, this is the most efficient way I’ve balanced my schoolwork and social life. I have many weekends where I’ll stay in even if I know I could be doing something fun, because I know if I get it done earlier, I’ll have more free time later. This method can be complicated because you feel like you have all the time in the world when a project is first assigned, but in reality, the deadline will come faster than you think. Getting your work done as soon as you get it will give you more social time and higher grades from beating procrastination. 

Rollins College Chapter