Source: Flickr user numb3r
When it comes to yearbook deadlines, students often view them less like opportunities and more like chores. The moment a student gets through one set, there’s another waiting for them in the wings. And after homework, tests, SAT prep, extracurriculars, homecoming dance, family time, and friends, it’s easy for students to forget about them or to push them off until the last minute when it’s almost impossible to get the job done well. Here are six tips for students to avoid pushing themselves up too close to yearbook deadlines so they can have a less stressful, more productive school year.
1. WRITE IT DOWN
Image source: Flickr user Justin See
We’ve become a society very dependent on our digital devices. But research shows that writing things down with pen and paper actually helps us to remember it better by bringing the information that we’re writing to the front of the brain. Encourage students to put down the iPad and get a day planner that they can take with them everywhere, so they can write down deadlines, notes, and reminders. In addition to having the information available in the planner at all times, the very act of having written each task down will allow students to recall them much more easily.
2. HAVE A DIGITAL BACKUP
However, that doesn’t mean students should forgo the ease of digital devices altogether. In addition to having their day planner and pen ready, students should use their smartphones or other mobile devices to schedule digital reminders for their yearbook deadlines as a backup. Students can set up alerts so they receive their reminders at least 24-48 hours before the actual day of the deadline so they won’t be left doing the last-minute scramble.
3. JUST DO IT
This generation takes a lot of heat for procrastination, which most blame on their being born in the digital age. But the fact is, procrastination is a learned trait, not genetic code, which means all the habits associated with it can be unlearned if you just give your students a hand.
The longer students put something off, the more anxiety they’ll experience. Procrastination is also significantly linked to depression, low self-esteem, and poor study habits. It’s important to help students avoid these pitfalls in order to get all projects done without driving them around the bend.
4. JUGGLE ONE BALL AT A TIME
When students first join the yearbook committee, they’ll often get excited and take on more than they can handle. But when they have too many balls in the air, eventually some are going to drop. Multitasking might seem like the better way to get a lot done in a shorter time frame, but it’s not. Studies show that when people try taking on multiple tasks at a time, productivity slows and performance suffers.
The best way to complete a tasks effectively is to encourage students to only take on one task at a time. This will the job gets done right the first time and they can avoid mistakes that they’ll have to go back and correct eventually, anyway. Once one task is done, they can move on to the next. Before you know it, you’ll have a completed yearbook in your hands, and they’ll have themselves to thank for it.
5. ASK FOR HELP
Everyone hits a brick wall at some point, especially creatively. Remind students that it’s okay when this happens. When they’ve reached a mental block, students are often hesitant to ask for assistance, either out of embarrassment or because they’re worried about getting in trouble. Encourage them to ask for help or advice instead of giving up in frustration. After all, that’s what yearbook advisors are for!
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE WRONG
We often put things off because we are afraid of not being able to do it as perfect as we’d like and we’re uncomfortable with that feeling of potential failure. But while striving for excellence helps produce better results, reaching for perfectionism can often hurt us more than help. Obviously no one’s perfect, and students may actually find their best solution through their mistakes, so it’s important that you encourage their creativity and problem-solving above perfection.
TREERING HELPS EASE DEADLINE PRESSURE
When students use TreeRing to create your yearbook, they’re able to do more work outside of the classroom to work around their schedules. Furthermore, editors and advisors are able to access their work throughout the year, which means students can get feedback faster, helping them to work as they go. See for yourself how easy it is to use. It’s time for students to put down that to-do list and get to work!