Dealing with university workload
Managing your workload at university is an important aspect in achieving a healthy work/play balance. Deadlines are often set at the end of semesters and so can lull you into a false sense of security over how long you have. This blog will outline my top tips for managing your work whilst still finding time to have fun.
Start early: My top tip is to start on assignments early. Have a look at module outlines and decide which pieces of work you’ll be able to make a start on first. Starting early relieves a large proportion of the stress that comes with feeling rushed and under pressure as the deadlines loom. By making an early start, you open yourself up to a wider range of reading material too. There are only so many books in the library and if your whole course are likely to want the same material, then getting in there early will help put you in the best position. Lecturers will typically have more time for tutorials the earlier you start too, as not everyone is rushing to try and squeeze theirs in.
Set achievable targets: Quite often, assignments seem insurmountable with the amount of work you will be expected to do. Therefore, setting realistic and achievable targets helps break down the daunting nature of the task and allows you to focus on much more specific targets. For example, “I want to have completed my reading for section one by Thursday” or “I want to have finished writing my introduction by the end of the week.” These smaller targets give you a direct focus to work towards, with the chance of you drifting off task diminished if you have a clear point to work towards. All the while, these small targets help in the completion of the final assignment.
Plan time off: Working completely non-stop is draining and often leads to a complete productivity drop off, as you have no chance to get a break away from what you’re doing. Therefore, plan some time off where you’re going to have a break away from that particular assignment or from work altogether. You may plan to have evenings off so you can socialise or you may work hard for two weeks and then have the weekend off at the end of the second week as a longer break. You don’t necessarily have to have plans as an excuse for time off, but make sure you give yourself a break so you can relax, unwind and be ready to continue working productively when you return.
Assignments will always be a part of university life, but by planning ahead and managing your workload the pressure of work will hopefully not become completely overwhelming.