Friday, 16 September 2016

Don't work harder, work cleaner...

With school very much underway and everyone starting/going back to university, I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post helping those who find it hard to actually find motivation to do any work. 

I go back to university on the 26th, so I've still got just under two weeks to comprehend the amount of work I'm going to be doing for third year. The thought of working on my final year project as well as doing the same amount of modules as I have for first and second year bloody terrifies me, but I have come up with a 'fool-proof' plan on getting motivated and actually knuckling down and doing the work. 

The last two years for me have been pretty stressful when it comes to workload, and that's entirely my fault. I leave all my work last minute to do (I know there are other kindred spirits just like me out there), which means it all piles up and causes minor mental breakdowns... I do not want a repeat of that this year.

Here are my tips - most are just common sense, but if you check all of these off your list then you'll hopefully be in a more productive mind-set. Well, that's what I'm hoping will happen anyway!

CLEAN YOUR WORKSPACE

Get rid of all the clutter on your desk! If you don't have a desk, then find a place that you can use as a desk - a kitchen/dining room table will do nicely! I find that this is one of the worst things for me, I need to be organised and having mess everywhere prevents that. On my desk I have a pot or two of pens (coloured and just normal blue/black/red), a pot of paperclips, a stapler, a couple of notebooks, a lamp, and of course my laptop. I also have my emergency lip balm - a girl's priority. Don't fill your space with unnecessary clutter - a clean work space makes room for a clean mind. That's not quite the saying but it's pretty much the gist. 



TAKE BREAKS

Taking breaks in between study sessions is so important. Some research states that the average human attention span is only five minutes (approx.), but others state that most healthy teenagers and adults are able to sustain attention for more than twenty minutes at a time (or so wikipedia says) - thats only like ONE episode of Friends or Modern Family. Not long at all. I'm never any good at taking breaks - it's not that I forget to take them, it's just my whole study session is really just one big break. My plan now is to work for at least 20 minutes and then have a five minute break, and 'reward' myself with a scroll through my social media. Then, back to work!

DISTRACTIONS

Remove your distractions! I'm not suggesting that you deactivate your Facebook and Twitter accounts like I know a lot of people do, but just have the will power to ignore them for those twenty, long minutes of concentrating. As soon as you get into the swing of things you'll probably forget that Facebook is actually a thing - those memes can always be looked at later on in the day. Put your phone on charge in another room, or right over the other side of your bedroom and no where near your desk. YOU CAN DO IT!

WORK TO A PLAN

This is a big one for me. I absolutely love working when I have a list that I can tick off things that I have completed. Nothing feels better than having a long list of things to do, and you get to tick them off one by one - just me? Okay then... In all seriousness, having a checklist of everything you need to have completed is so helpful - nothing is forgotten or missed because you get to tick it all off. Then anything you don't have time to do, you know what you need to start with the next time you do your work. Easy peasy! I have a desk planner that I bought from Sainsburys months ago (in the photo below) that I haven't fully utilised - once uni starts up again I do plan on using that as my checklist. 



And there you have it, those are just some simple things you can do to be more productive. I even referenced an article to try and seem professional - all-be-it a wikipedia article, but that's how far my research goes. I hope these tips help you in some way!

A little, very quick side note - me, my mum, my sister and my mum's friend are doing the memory walk in aid of Alzheimer's Society on Sunday. We have already surpassed our original goal of £300, but we want to keep raising money for such a good cause! If you would like to donate, head over to our justgiving page and give what you can!

Thanks for reading!
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