For postgrads, the whole year is a busy time and the SU understands that. But as the year gets more intense, you end up having multiple deadlines at the same time. That is why, as part of The Big 5, the SU is working on trying to make the deadlines more spread out through the term, it’s a long process but we are determined to make it happen! In the meantime, the SU has asked your fellow students to share their top tips for staying on top of things.
“The key for me is to understand the difference between what’s important and what’s urgent is primordial. You shouldn’t let what is important become urgent: make some time every day to complete those important tasks and you’ll avoid those near-to-death-scenarios where you end up trying to squeeze everything in the last two days and when your brain is already tired and your body is sleep-deprived! “
Meng, MA Conflict Resolution
- Have a planner or a calendar (you can use your phone!) to plan your time.
- Make sure to write down all your deadlines, trips, scheduled appointments, anniversaries and birthdays
“Go over your detailed to-do list every morning and prioritize your tasks for that day. This will help you declutter your mental space because you don’t actually have to remember anything. Second, get used to getting up early. Most people tend to be less productive in the evening due to socializing, sports, Netflix, etc. To get more out of your day, make it a habit to get up early. There aren't as many distractions in the morning.”
Johannes, MA Conflict Resolution
- Have a daily to – do list, write down even small things like "call mom" or "buy bananas".
- Try to start your coursework early. Even if it means just looking over and only answering one or two questions, it will give you an idea of how much work, commitment and time is required from you.
“My big tip is to set concrete and obtainable goals every day. Instead of cramming an entire book a few days before the test, tell yourself you’ll read a chapter a day. These goals will help space out the workload and allow you to accomplish much. Also, the feeling of accomplishment will be very good for your mental health”
Rob, MSc Political Economy
“Be proactive with dividing up your time, make mini-deadlines to work towards and don't be afraid to give yourself a break because when you come back to it you will feel refreshed and ready to have another go! “
Sophia, MSc Tropical Marine Biology
When I'm studying I make sure I set alarms to go for a walk, get some fresh air and coffee (or snacks!). Write a list in a nice little designated 'To-Do List Diary' and make sure you tick off as you go, if you miss things off of one page, move them over to the next one so you don't forget! Asking for help every now and then doesn't make you seem like you haven't got it under control, just means you're aware of when you might be heading towards a stress-melt-down - pre-empt this from happening to save yourself from being upset later down the line!”
Emily, MA Curatorial Studies
- Break big tasks into smaller ones - try and stick to doing them!
- Set alarms on your phone for an hour before events to make sure you don't forget them.
“Block out time in your week to focus on your work, and don’t block out the night before! There is nothing worse than having to rush. I also really struggle with procrastination, so put your phone in a different room. If you can’t focus after 20mins, take a 5 or 10 min break. Make yourself a drink or have a biscuit – do not look at social media!”
Natalie, MA Curating
- Don’t forget to plan your fun time too!
- Allocate time to get all the readings together for the following week and make sure you include time to read and make notes for seminars
“Do your tasks with time and the necessary dedication. Divide the task into smaller parts and focus on doing them, so that at the end of the day there is no avalanche. Make sure to self-reward when you finish the task. You could go to the movies, eat chocolate or tasty food, draw, read or anything that relaxes you (remember, only when you have finished the mini-task). Don’t panic you are doing great, sweetie!”
Miros, MA Conflict Resolution
Thank you for these amazing students from sharing their best tips