Catching Up: Balancing Workload after Falling Behind – OurWarwick
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Catching Up: Balancing Workload after Falling Behind

For years I've been deeply in love with creative writing,…
Find out more about me Contact Lauren

Yes… it happens to everyone!

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely break between Spring and Summer terms which is, undoubtedly, the most stressful break in the entire academic year. With exams coming up, assessments being due, and the end-of-year burnout threatening to overwhelm you, it’s easy to fall behind. And trust me – everyone does at some point.

In the last couple of weeks of the spring term, I started part-time work alongside uni and, to my own downfall, definitely worked too many hours. This, combined with the very unfortunate timing of my laptop breaking on me, resulted in me overworking myself. Then to top it all off in the last week of term, I caught the flu. Typical.

So now, I’m behind on lectures, cutting it close with assignments, and have had to put making revision cards for my upcoming exams on the backburner. But, no stress. (well maybe a little bit). Because I have a plan.

The Plan:

  1. Organise my laptop

I am one of those people who has hundreds of micro-managed folders of files on my laptop; if it isn’t in a folder, I don’t know what it is. The problem is, when I get lazy or busy, I stop organising. My first step was to clean up my laptop, delete anything unnecessary, and put everything in its place. This had two positive impacts: a) I felt productive and b) I can see exactly what I have done.

2. Create a master list

This is the scary bit; making an extremely long and unorganised list of everything, and I mean everything, that I need to do. This included completing all of my lectures, making all of my revision materials, completing assignments, and booking a dentist appointment. What’s important about this list is that is not organised in any way, you just blurt out everything you can think of.

3. Time-manage

Now, you can start splitting up that list. Personally, I like using OneNote to do To-Do lists, because its on my desktop (Sorry, I just cannot get on board with Notion) and you can easily move things about and cross them off. I do it week by week, then day by day. I add in first my non-negotiables, things that I absolutely must do in the next week or so. For me, this was completing all my lectures, and at least starting all my assignments. Then, go through and add everything in order of urgency. I find its really important not to overload any single day, and to make sure you’re switching it up – I know I could never do 5 evolution lectures (yawn) in one day, so why would I plan to? I add in little things, like booking a dentist appointment or returning library books, scattered throughout, so its not all academic.

4. Keeping on track

Okay, I think I should admit that I am terrible at sticking to my To-Do lists. But the beauty in how I organise them is that it’s so easy to move things about. I don’t plan very far in advance, which means that it doesn’t feel catastrophic if I move things. Because I have a variety of things planned for each day, its easy for me to postpone the less-urgent things. So always remember: things get in the way and don’t get done, but you can always adapt.

Hopefully, you may now feel less guilty about being behind or something, or letting life generally get in the way. University (and life in general) is hard. Things come up, you get sick, technology breaks, and everything always seems to happen at once. What is important to remember is that you can always adapt, you can always change things around, and short-term problems don’t have to be long-term struggles. Allow yourself to be stressed for two minutes, breathe, then plan what you need to do to get back on track. University is all about prioritising, and the most important thing to prioritise is YOU.

Thanks for reading as always,

Lauren 🙂

For years I've been deeply in love with creative writing,…
Find out more about me Contact Lauren

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