Ever had to pull an all nighter because you did not quite have enough time to study all the material for the final? Or worked on a programming problem that had an annoying bug that you couldn’t find but the deadline was approaching quickly? Both of these situations can result in a significant amount of stress, but there is a very simple and effective way to prevent this altogether. Anyone can do it.
The solution in two words: start early. If you have ever taken a course with me, you know that I mention this almost every lecture. And while some actually follow this advice, not everyone seems to be convinced by it. So here is why I think it works.
The core of the problem is running out of time. Because of that, anxiety will increase and you are also more likely to sleep less or skip a meal, which your body does not appreciate, especially when done frequently. All of this will increase your stress levels. Not good.
When you look at stress as being caused by time pressure (there can be other factors too, but this is a very significant contributor), the solution is obvious. Instead of waiting until the last moment, your strategy should be to start early, finish the work, and don’t worry about it. And why not do this? You have to do the work anyway, so you may as well start early and get it over with.
All it takes is a little bit of discipline. Give it a shot.