Manage competing commitments
Breaking down the task and tracking your progress through each step can help you plan and organise a complex task. However, sometimes things don’t go to plan and it can feel stressful trying to get the work done. Other commitments such as work, family, social life and unexpected events are necessary and inevitable.
In the video below, an emergency room doctor explains some helpful strategies to manage competing commitments. Instead of a stressful, ‘crazy busy’ mode, this doctor suggests trying Ready mode.
Ready mode strategies
Don’t approach every task with the same sense of urgency. Triage according to importance. Be firm about what is really important right now (i.e. a ‘red’ task) and what is important but can wait (‘orange’ task) and what does not need to be done right now (‘green task). It can be easy, when we’re stressed, to feel like everything is a ‘red task’. Take the time to step back, triage and then focus on the most immediate, ‘red’ tasks for that day or week.
A thesis or research project is a demanding and complex task. Expect to be busy and design ways to be efficient and prepared. This might include automating tasks (i.e. recurring lists or calendar events) or planning way ahead (i.e. meals for the week).
When we are very busy and stressed, we tend to focus inward. Our inner monologue goes into overdrive and we tend to catastrophise. Try to focus outward on what needs to be done: whether that’s the task in your progress plan or someone else around you needing something from you. Focusing on one important task and getting it done is always better than thinking over all the tasks and not getting any of them done.
Watch the full video below.
Extensions and special consideration
If you're experiencing exceptional circumstances and can't complete your assessment on time, you can apply for a short extension or special consideration. For more details see the Special consideration webpage.
If you get an extension, still try to complete your assessment as close to the original deadline as you can, so that it does not hold up your progress in other areas of your study.
Long extensions or multiple extensions may impact your progress in the rest of your unit, as the content often builds upon previous tasks within the unit.
Reach out to one of our support teams for help with completing your assessments on time.