Mid-sem assessments never seem to come one at a time. You’ll be floating through the semester with nothing due, and suddenly you have four assessments due in the same week.
While we all tell ourselves that this semester we’ll change our ways and get some of them finished early, this never really comes to fruition. Once you’ve accepted your fate, the key to completing an assignment at the last minute is perfecting the all-night study session. We’ve compiled some of the best ways to make sure you’re not giving up precious sleep for nothing.
#1 Have A Concise Plan
Don’t just sit down at your desk and expect the words to flow. Unless you’re William Shakespeare, you aren’t going to be able to just write quality work until you hit the word count.
It’s important to plan exactly how the night is going to go to ensure you get your work finished on time. Try scheduling half-hour blocks with word counts for each block. Be sure to include food and social media breaks, and try to stick exactly to the scheduled time. When you’re already working with a limited amount of time, you need to make every minute count.
#2 Eliminate Distractions
Exit your email. Hide your phone. Find a quiet corner where no one is going to walk past, and stick your headphones in. If you’ve made the decision to pull an all-nighter, you need to fully commit to it.
This means getting rid of anything that could possibly distract you from the task at hand. If you don’t think you’ve got the self-control to avoid distractions online, you can literally download Self Control, an app that blocks any websites you put on the list for a specified duration. There are also apps that will block even more of your computer, like Cold Turkey, so you can’t play a sneaky game of Minesweeper or get lost in the intricacies of the iTunes Store.
#3 Quit The Caffeine
Sure, you might think caffeine is the answer to staying awake all night, but it can be hard to concentrate when your hands are shaking from all the coffee you’ve consumed.
If you’re a regular coffee drinker, it’s also highly unlikely that caffeine will actually make a huge difference in keeping you awake all night. Instead, try to plan ahead for an all-nighter if possible, and take a nap before you stay up. Eat healthy snacks and protein-rich foods throughout the night instead of carbs, which can make you sleepy. If you must rely on caffeine, don’t drink any during the day and plan your consumption strategically for when you’re most tired (probably 3-4am).
#4 Prepare Your Playlist
The perfect study playlist is essential to any all-nighter attempt. Whether you prefer peaceful piano music, classic R&B hits or just plain white noise, there’s almost definitely a pre-created Spotify study playlist for you.
Alternatively, plan ahead and create your own playlist with songs you know will work for you. Upbeat Latin dance hits can be particularly good for all-nighters, because they’re made to make you move. Also, they aren’t too distracting if English is your first language and you don’t understand the lyrics.
#5 Actually Get It Done
When it comes down to it, you’ve just got to stick your head down and get your work done. Even the best all-nighter prep will be wasted if you can’t actually commit to finishing the assessment on time.
Ultimately, staying up all night really shouldn’t be your go-to option, and should only be used in extreme moderation. By improving your time management and planning ahead, you can ensure assessment time will be a lot less stressful next sem.
This article first appeared on Junkee. The full article can be found here.