I read a quote from an article recently that said, “we’re always more focused and productive with limited time.” Ask yourself if that true for you. If it is, proceed in reading this article. If not, feel free to try to learn how to do it or go back to the HackCollege homepage and click on literally any other article, as they’re all pretty awesome.

We’ve all been pressed for time before. Sometimes, meeting deadlines can be a hard thing to do, especially for college students who are just learning how deadlines work and how to manage their time. If you’re like me, you’ve been so pressed for time that you forgot about that paper that was assigned two weeks ago that’s actually due tomorrow.  Either that or you’ve just procrastinated. Here’s how to hack your paper.

Creating an outline

Only 24 hours to go before your paper is due and you don’t have anything for it. First thing is first: make an outline of what your paper should look like. This means make an interactive guide for yourself so that you have an easier time writing your paper later on. Very seldom will you find a great paper that is written off of the top of your head. Do yourself a favor and make an outline.

Writing key ideas down

Oftentimes you’ll find yourself writing and a new idea will come to your head that you don’t want to forget. Write that down. Have a few scrap pieces of paper around at all times so that you can get all of those ideas down in their entirety. You don’t want to lose an idea that could turn a good paper into a great one.

Managing your time well

Pace yourself. Writing a good paper within 24 hours of the time that it’s due is draining. Make sure that you take a few breaks and stretch your body out. Maybe go for a short walk. This can often get your creative juices flowing better than trying to marathon it out.

It also might be a good idea to take a power nap and eat some grub. You know, don’t want to deprive yourself of the necessary things that your body needs to perform well.

Write, write, and write some more

Alright, you’re halfway done and you’ve only got 6 hours until you have to turn it in. You’re running out of what to write about. Refer back to your notes and your outline. Still nothing?

Just write down anything that comes to mind, even if it’s not a good piece to your puzzle. You can weed out the bad things later. All that matters is that you write down the things that come to your head. Do this for about 10 minutes. You’ll be amazed with what you produce.

Have someone proofread it

Having a difference set of eyes on your paper will help you refine your paper and make it great. When you’re doing one thing for a long period of time, your eyes tend to miss typos and your mind starts to slack in terms of overall structure of your paper.

Have someone look it over and make sure it’s good to go.

Turn it in a few hours before the time it’s due

Lastly, if you turn it in at the last minute, your professor might think that you’re a procrastinator. You don’t want that. If you can, try to turn your paper in early—the earlier the better. You’ll leave a great impression.