How to Avoid University Workload Negatively Impacting Your Wellbeing
All university students would agree that in order to achieve their best marks in both assignments and exams, hard work is required. However, with increased accountability for our own learning, it is often a struggle knowing how best to apply efforts in order to secure the results we desire. Take responsibility and start effectively managing how you spend your time. Prioritise what is important and what is not. By introducing discipline, planning and organisation into your university life, you will be able to work smarter, not harder, and have more time on your hands to do the things you love. As a student, here are my top tips for ensuring your university workload does not become too much and negatively impact your wellbeing.
- Take regular breaks
Multiple studies have proven that our brains struggle to concentrate for long periods of time. Taking regular breaks throughout your study session, especially when you feel yourself losing focus, will increase your overall productivity. As well as improving the standard of your work, regular breaks have health benefits such as reducing eye fatigue and avoiding blood-clots in your legs. If you want to boost your concentration even more, swap your usual coffee for brain-boosting snacks such as blueberries and walnuts.
- Incorporate rituals into your day
A simple yet effective method of managing your university workload is introducing healthy habits into your everyday routine. Repeating the same thing at the same time in the same place conditions you. Introduce a morning ritual, such as yoga or exercise into your working week. This will make you feel more positive about the day ahead and help your productivity when it comes to your work.
- Assign yourself a “Do Not Disturb” period of time each day
It can be difficult concentrating in the library or your student accommodation when you are surrounded by all your friends, who will most likely want to discuss anything other than work with you. Take responsibility and allocate a time slot each day where you work alone. You will be a lot less distracted and therefore more productive, leaving you with more time to relax properly with your friends in the evening and on a weekend.
- Turn off your phone
A student’s phone is easily their biggest distraction from university work. As hard as it may be, turn off your phone and put it out of sight, which will help keep it out of mind. One quick look on Facebook or Instagram can deflect your focus for the next 25 minutes. Everything will still be there when you finish your concentrated period of work.
- Create a top three prioritised list every day
In order to get as much as possible done, pre-planning your day is crucial. When you make a long to-do list for the day ahead and don’t complete it, it can be rather demoralising. Instead, create a list of the three most important things you need to achieve that day. All of a sudden your list transforms from overwhelming to manageable, resulting in higher productivity.
- Have an organised workspace
Keep your paper and online folders and notes organised with labels. This will save you so much time when it comes to writing an essay or revising for an exam. Also keep your workspace tidy at your desk in your room. An uncluttered work area improves focus.
Following these tips should help you manage your work load and prevent it from becoming too stressful. Visit mind.org.uk for more information on all aspects of mental health, including great tips on relaxation and anger.
Francesca Berry BA (Hons) Politics and Modern History