Managing the Christmas Workload
The Christmas break is finally here!
Christmas is a time to unwind and get festive, but it can also be a stressful few weeks if you have assignments and revision to get through. Balancing your time so that you can work productively and enjoy the festivities can be really tricky and you can end up burning yourself out before next term, so here are a few ways to help!
Make a flexible schedule
Making a schedule can really help you feel more in control when faced with a heavy workload as it encourages you to think realistically about what you can do when. One of the most important parts of making a schedule is being flexible as you’re bound to encounter unexpected changes of plan and varying levels of productivity along the way. If you don’t finish the work that you had planned for a particular day, don’t beat yourself up, just have a re-shuffle of the schedule and keep moving forward.
Get out and about
Spending too much time inside can make it easier to lose focus (Netflix will be calling you!) so getting a change of scenery can make a big difference. If you’re going out with friends and family but are worried about having enough time to study, let them know how you feel – they’ll understand if you need to leave slightly earlier and it means you can enjoy your trip without feeling as much pressure. Studying in different places (like your local library or coffee shop) can also help you focus and avoid distractions at home, and the walk to and from different study spaces can clear your head.
Take time to relax by yourself
The shift from the total independence you have at uni to being back in a home environment can take some time to get used to so it can be a good idea to spend some time recharging by yourself. To completely switch off from work, try to do something fun that also engages your brain (such as reading or baking) as activities like watching TV which leave your brain more vacant can lead to your thoughts wandering anxiously back to your to do list.
Eat good meals (not just chocolate!)
Having wholesome meals can really help boost your productivity and mood, and having a good breakfast is an important part of kick-starting your day. Whilst it’s great to indulge a little at Christmas, revision fuelled purely by chocolate isn’t the most productive (trust me, I’ve tried!) so make sure you’re sticking to a reasonably healthy diet, eating regular meals and being mindful of your caffeine intake.
As you’re working (especially if you’re feeling the pressure to get a lot done) doubts can start to creep in about if the work you’re producing is ‘good enough’. Try not to worry too much about meeting a ‘standard’ as you might just psyche yourself out and end up feeling down. Remember that you’ve spent a lot of time over the term learning and processing the course content so you’ve already laid the groundwork and made a lot of progress! Just try to keep calm, have faith in yourself and do what you can. Keep ploughing on and you will get there, just make sure you have a break and keep the bigger picture in mind – your mental wellbeing is ultimately the most important thing so be kind to yourself.