After failing the first year of the PhD program at a top university, I know that my poor performance resulted from dealing with a tremendously debilitating psychological condition, but it all was exacerbated by a serious lack of time management skills and poor organization. This academic year, I constantly underestimated the time it would takes me to complete every assignment. Consequently, I found myself asking for extensions and even then, I was incapable of making the extension. I can't use the excuse that I simply am unfamiliar with the subject matter, as I have earned a master degree in this field with honors from another prestigious university and worked for several years prior to starting the program. I also can't blame my failure on procrastination, as I generally start weekly assignments 3-5 days prior to the deadline, and work on term projects for at least a month prior to their deadline. To say the least, my professors are irritated with me. Their frustration in part comes from their knowledge of my abilities. Every single one has set me aside and provided candid feedback and in their words...once I manage to complete an assignment and submit it on time, "the content and quality is pretty good". Now that my health has improved, their feedback confirms my self-assessment and I am 1,000% certain that my failure to thrive is due to serious time management and organization shortcomings.
For those of you out there that have encountered a similar situation and been able to overcome it, what did you do? What strategies did you use for completing assignments on time (specifically writing assignments or a critical and technical nature)? Can you recommend any resources that have helped you tackle these problems?