Succeed You Will: Jedi Mind Tricks for Hitting Deadlines

By Jamie VanEaton - December 3rd, 2015

“Help me, CSU Global! You’re my only hope!”  No matter how strong the force is in you, we all can sometimes have a hard time staying on track with our busy lives. These Jedi mind tricks from B.S. in Communication student Jamie Van Eaton can help get you through those busy times…and become more of a Han and less of a Jar Jar.

Here’s a hypothetical situation:  it’s Sunday afternoon and instead of focusing on what you need to get going for the next week (or what’s due at midnight tonight), you’re either a little freaked out or feeling a little unmotivated.  You know the right choice here, but how do you get yourself to make it?

Here are some quick ways to use The Force to manage tasks without succumbing to the Dark Side (or cookies).

Start Small

It might seem more heroic to start chipping away at the big tasks, but, let’s face it, it’s easier to stick a cracker in your mouth than an entire pizza. Start with the cracker. Knock out the quick tasks. Plus, crackers are cheap.

Write Something

Anything. Writer’s block is the pits, and sometimes the blank page staring back at you is enough to warrant therapy. Look, even outlining some ideas or going into full-on brainstorming mode is enough to make you feel you’re making progress, so go for it. At first, any copy is good copy. You’ve got this!

Set the Timer

I don’t know about you, but when I’m faced with a task, I’m not always motivated. (Dude, there are episodes of iZombie calling my name on Netflix). So what do you do? Set a timer for 15 minutes. Work for a quarter of an hour and you’ll either find you’re motivated enough to keep going, or, minimally, you’re 15 minutes ahead of where you were when you started. Either way, it’s a win. iZombie anyone?

Work Ahead

Speaking of brains, if you trick yours into thinking something’s due sooner than it really is, it’s easier to get moving (especially if, like me, you produce better during pre-deadline marathons). I usually tell myself a paper’s due a few days before it really is. This way, I’m not staring at the screen on Sunday wondering where the week went.

Bag a Buddy

An accountability buddy’s a good way to make sure you’re both staying on task. Maybe you’re meeting deadlines by proofing each other’s papers. You might even know you’re in the no-goof zone as soon as the two of you get working. Knowing someone’s got your back is enough to keep you from (probably) succumbing to Words with Friends.

It doesn’t matter who you are; we’re all dealing with to-do lists that seem just a little too long. Take action now rather than let inaction get to you.

And remember; there’s no shooting for perfection here. Whether you’re tricking your mind into thinking you’re closer to a deadline than you really are, or scrawling random words on the page just to build up momentum, you’re winning at this. Don’t give up now.

Oh yeah. And may The Force be with you.


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