When You’re Bogged Down With Work

Now that, guys and gals, is an enticing title. This post a one or two days later than when I would usually publish a blog post. I’ll be frank and tell you why; more has been on my mind than thinking up ideas for blog posts. Cue sharp intakes of breath as the unspoken, unwritten, confession of a “kind-of-blogger” is uttered. My brain is swelling with new information, old decaying information, endless projects and report write-ups, friend-worries, appearances-woes and everything else a 20-something female student might be experiencing in her non-stop life. 
So of course, whilst gulping tea and watching a documentary on government surveillance (that has absolutely nothing to do with my uni work), I’m going to channel these worries into constructive ideas and advice (for myself mostly), on how we can better the situation, and get through it together! Digs out a banana skin from the bin to have a home-made pom-pom cheerleading session.

  • Cabin Fever – I never have been able and still can’t write essays in my uni room. I can study, as in revise and highlight notes, and hammer down a few words when I’m nearing the deadline, but generally when it comes to sitting down facing the impending doom of an open Word doc to tap out endless lines of goodness-knows-what, it ain’t gonna happen. I fidget and look around my room for non-existent snacks, refresh my Bloglovin’ or Youtube feeds, and wonder whether any scandalous status’ have been posted on Facebook. Nope, just more baby photos. So then I’ll make the upmost effort to find something else to procrastinate with..
  • Solutions  Get out that ruddy room! This is why I spend 90% of all study time in the library or labs. I choose a Silent Level, but still with sufficient background noise of computer whirs and paper shuffles. Everyone else (pretty much) has got the same game plan. We’re all there for the same purpose, we bounce off each other’s work ethics and feel if they can study in this place for 6/7 hours a day, I can too.
  • Now I know this isn’t feasible for everyone. Maybe you live too far away to travel to the library, or, like several of my pals, you’re the complete opposite of me and have only stepped foot in the “L” word a handful of times because trying to working in that kind of alien environment is nigh on impossible. Try simple changes: If you usually study in your bedroom, try moving your workspace to the dining room table. If you have the motivation to go to the library, but once you get there it’s all down hill, try another level, maybe one with more background noise and comfortable furniture. Sometimes I can work well when I’m not in a studious, academic environment but one that still allows people to be in their own little zones, acting as your accountables. Yep – coffee shops, park benches, the student union are all good changes of environment.

  • Procrastination – The reasons for, and solutions to this overlap with Cabin Fever. But similarly to my previous posts on beating the winter blues and getting ready for Spring, sometimes all you need is just an influx of oxygen on a brisk walk outside and you’re good to go, mind sieved and cleared once you’re back sitting in front of your work. 
  • Sometimes we give ourselves too hard a time when it comes to study. I’ll often come home from a tiresome day at the library, have tea, catch up on social media and then immediately feel guilty for not working. ‘Ang on, you’ve just done a solid, productive day’s work of study, you’ve fed and watered yourself, switched off the part of your brain that requires constant thought and alertness, and you’re feeling guilty? If we all worked 24/7 we’d be living zombies and it’d actually end up being counter-productive. Give yourself a break! (Literally), and congratulate yourself on knowing that you’ve done your best and ticked off all the goals you wanted to smash for that day. 

  • This Too Shall Pass – Of course when we’re in the here and now, living the hell and not yet in the balmy, beach holiday of retrospect, the present can feel like a pit of never-ending doom. But we can apply this phrase to every aspect of our life. How many times have you looked back on a rubbish part of your life, weeks, months, maybe even years later and thought, hey, in the grand schemes of things that wasn’t all that bad. I’m still here, my life wasn’t endangered, I pulled through just like everyone else, and we’re all absolute troopers! It’s quite nice to reflect on the bad times because you know that they’re in the past, you’ve moved on, and are constantly learning and building on how you can make the future a somewhat less painful place.

Well I could ramble on all day couldn’t I? Perhaps I’ll do another post further down Exam Alley on what I do physically to help me revise and make the most of my precious study time. We’re all different, we all learn and study in our own ways. But remember, we’re all in this together, you’re not experiencing this alone, and you most definitely won’t be the last.


ps. it’s definitely okay to treat yourself once you’ve achieved something, no matter how big or small the accomplishment. A square of choc or a trip to Cadbury’s World, they’re what truly keeps us motivated 😉

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