How to Stay on Top of Work

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By Sasha Broom

This article can also be found in the print Edition 2 of VARSITY Newspaper.

Staying on top of your workload and making sure you don’t lose control may be one of the biggest daily challenges you face during your varsity years. Managing work load properly, though, can also prove to be one of the most beneficial aids to your stress levels and mental health. We all know what it’s like when the work has mounted up so much that it feels unbearable – and then we usually do even more to avoid it (Instagram, I’m looking at you). Below are some tips I find beneficial for managing work and, in the process, hopefully feeling more positive towards it.

What deadline is coming up first? What needs to be worked at in bite-sized pieces over time? Try to prioritize completing one task at once. Focus on that rather than haphazardly working at everything and ending up with several half-finished and late assignments. Making a quick list in order of what you’d like to get done, first to last, can help here. Check in with classmates and tutors about the current assignments to help assure yourself that you understand and are approaching the work in the most efficient way. When you’re doing work that especially interests you, it can also be motivating to talk about it.

Image by Thapelo Masebe

Next, find your workspace. Wherever you study most efficiently – whether that’s the library, your room, or elsewhere – head straight there when you know you should be working. Just being there can help to put you into get-it- done mode. However, nothing is more distracting than notifications coming through while you’re trying to understand your own thoughts. Reserve social media checks for after you’ve reached your goals for that study/work session, or you may find yourself writing Facebook posts longer than your essay word count.

Finally, breathe. Your health and happiness always come first! Take a break: make food, walk in nature, rant to a friend – anything you need to do before getting back into it and slaying those assignments. You’ve got this.

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