If your academic year is going anything like mine at the moment, then there are thousands of words written but still many more to go before you’re done. This is both a good and a bad thing. It’s great because it means learning new things, but it’s not so great when it means that deadlines are getting closer and closer whilst you’re suffering with more stress than ever.
But don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to be stressed and worried about all of this. The important thing is making sure that you keep your schedule balanced enough to stay calm and efficient in your work. Here’s a survival kit to dealing with stress during this term:
1. Regular breaks
Having regular intervals whilst working is one of the best ways you can keep yourself focused which is the key to getting work done to a high standard. These breaks are anything from 5 minutes to 1 hour which you can use however you want, whether that be to read a book or to go for a walk. The aim of course is to give yourself the head space to keep your thoughts turning.
Tip – Try a system where you work for 10 minutes and get a 5 minute break, then 20 minutes of work with a 10 minute break and so on until you get to one hour. Then go back and repeat.
2. Stick to the schedule
Design a system each week so that you know what sorts of tasks you want to be doing every day, when they need to be done by and what the priorities are.
Keep this schedule somewhere where you can see it and ensure that you use it on both days where you do and don’t have class. Even if you don’t have as much work to do on a specific day, getting into the habit of building schedules is one of the best ways to make sure you stick to them in the long run.
3. Keep organised
Store all of your notes and information neatly in files, with a backup copy on your computer just in case. I find having multiple copies of information is one of the most reassuring ways to stay focused and calm during the busy academic season.
Tip – Use copying up notes as an excuse to get a few extra revision hours in each week. If you copy them up after class, you can make sure you definitely understand everything too whilst there is still time to ask questions.
Most of all, make sure that you do all of the above with balance in mind. It’s easy to sit in the library and say you have worked for hours but if anything, that is all about appearences and won’t necessarily lead to getting more work done. Instead it will just lead to more stress. Remember to be kind to yourself and if you do this, it will be easier to keep calm during this busy time.