When it comes to workload management at university, everyone has their own techniques and habits that help. It’s about finding what works and taking a proactive approach as it will help you feel more in control throughout the academic year. With project work, team projects and exams, there can be different time pressures, so here are some tips on how you can prioritise your workload.
Get in the zone:
The first step to workload management is motivation. A tricky thing, and knowing how to find and keep it is golden, especially when we are surrounded by multiple attention distractors. We are battling on a daily basis with phone screens, social networks, Netflix and YouTube, as great as they are they are time gremlins and can suck away motivation pretty quickly. Try setting an alarm on your phone for whatever time you have set for a study period, and then put it away in a drawer or somewhere it won’t distract you. An average person can focus intensely for around 30 minutes to an hour, so don’t set great expectations that you will be doing a cram session of three hours on one subject without a break! On that note, try not to fill your diary with endless activities or events. It’s hard to say no to friends, but managing social versus study is important – as all of one and none of the other will create a challenging environment.
Join a study group:
This is a great way to learn from one another and an easy win for workload management. Whether it’s people from your course or perhaps some flat mates to just spend time to sit together to get work done. One bonus of this is you can bounce ideas off each other, a problem shared is a problem halved but the same goes for creative ideas. If you ever get stuck, chatting it through with someone will help your mind process and come to a conclusion.
Create a routine and get a planner:
Let’s break the stereotype – routine is good for you and your workload management! Even if it’s just a few tasks but when you train yourself to do them regularly (or at the same time each day/ week) it will become easy to focus and motivate yourself. Getting a planner (old school or digital) is also a very useful tool to keep control of things you need to do like assignments and lectures to attend, any activities with societies/ clubs to participate and other events you don’t want to forget.
Do what makes you happy:
A short disconnection from studying, a walk or making a hot drink, can break up study sessions and is actually proven to help your mind stay focused. The best option is to get some fresh air or exercise, and you could always use this time to video call a family member or friend for a catch-up. The trick is setting a break time – maybe 15 minutes – and sticking to it, then getting back in the zone!
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