I know this is a hard time for every undergraduate and postgraduate student as you prepare for your exams and assignment deadlines. I am here to share my little life-hacks based on what I have gone through after 4 years of my degree …
Making your own schedule
I always write down what I need to do in a day (including personal and academic tasks, e.g. the subject I need to revise, academic deadlines, appointments, my mum birthday celebration, etc.), monthly and yearly plan and my short-term and long-term goals. I feel so satisfied seeing a list of tasks that I have ticked (achieved) in a day. It is important for you to highlight every deadline and create your working plan. Time management/self-management is an important soft-skill that every university student needs to be well developed after finishing their degree and one that employers are looking for.
Writing and planning my schedule is a good way to reflect on what I have achieved. It’s a good way to clearly know about yourself, know how your study is progressing, keep track of what you have contributed to the club/ society as a member and also to keep track of your good and also bad habits.
Staying organized is good for your brain and you can work efficiently even if you have a large volume of tasks that need to be handled. It is easier for you to remember different tasks with different level of priority.
This is the video that I think is useful for building an effective journal or schedule. If you are interested, watch the below:
Have a day trip
A day trip is a good way to get away from stress because you don’t always want to stay in the environment where you work and study. Take a trip and get some fresh air outside of your working place and explore something that you haven’t experienced before. For example, if you haven’t been to Lake District, let’s go there and freshen up your mind and your body. Some innovative and interesting ideas may come to you for your studies or essays.
Although taking a day break seems like wasting a whole day, relaxation may help enhance your focus and boost your energy which strengthens your efficiency at work. Especially while you are doing your essay, freshening up your brain may help you to develop new ideas, creating more angles of thought.
If you don’t have the time to have a day trip, go for a walk or you can go to a new cafe to read and work. Changing working environment is a good way to stimulate your thoughts and to work under a lower level of stress. I love to work at Starbucks, the one near to the Durham bus station. The environment is cosy because the interior design is rustic/ modern which I am obsessed with (Another reason is I can get more Starbucks points).
Going to the gym is my habit. I go there 3-4 times a week and I spend 1.5 hours each workout. I have found that it is a good way to achieve work-life balance. It increases my metabolism level which helps me to burn fat and also releases endorphins which boosts my level of happiness. This habit encourages me to keep fit in order to get ready for summer and at the same time my mental health can be maintained because workouts help reduce my stress level. It’s such a win-win strategy!
I hope my tips have helped and good luck with your revision and exams!