Students' Blog

Keeping Up Your Work Ethic

With Christmas holidays so close now, it is easy to fall into a tired slump. Lectures feel longer, you’re losing motivation, and you’re just waiting for the weekend because you feel tired and drained. And though that’s the case, chances are you can’t really afford to enjoy your weekend since you probably have an essay or assessment before you break away for the holiday, plus the rest of your lectures which ARE important no matter how much you tell yourself. To help you pull yourself through until Christmas time, here’s some tips that can help keep you work focused until your well-deserved break.

Be Early and Prepared

For a lot of people, just keeping full focus during a lecture on the edge of December can be difficult, especially if it is early in the morning when you wake up groggy or late in the evening when it’s dark. Something that can help you here is being prepared in advance, which means getting ready early. If it’s an early lecture set your alarm an hour earlier, you will definitely be groggy when you wake up, but it will give you plenty of time to have your shower and breakfast and shake yourself awake and ready, instead of giving you little time to prepare yourself. A good thing you can do is aim to arrive at the building your lecture is in half an hour before the lecture actually starts. Not only will this help if outside circumstances interrupt you (i.e. your bus is late) but it will also give you time to settle in and prepare yourself for the upcoming lecture and read the handout you were given last time if you forgot to do so. If your lecture runs late into the evening, when your will is most likely to drain, then try to arrive early again, or if possible, arrive at 1 and use the computers in the library of Waterfront upper levels to get some work and/or research done to get you in the mood. Or rather, if that would just tire you even more, simply browse your course on BrightSpace, most likely there’s something extra on there or something your lecturer has added in, which you can ask them about later. At the very least you’ll feel more productive and remember everything better.

Be Consistent and Focused

With your strength feeling like its dwindling it’s easy to put things off for another day and procrastinate, but believe me it WILL leave you cramming most of your work and research into a week or even two or three days to finish your assignment. It may sound obvious, but the best way to keep on top of your work and stay ready to continue is being consistent. We can all admit that it is incredibly easy to procrastinate, especially at home and browsing the internet, and it can feel hard to avoid. I find that the best way to avoid it is to leave home and come and work in the library, you have plenty of resources, water coolers, printing machines, and a recent vending machine if you get peckish. If you are particularly guilty of getting distracted, I recommend the Quiet Area of the library; everybody works quietly, you can’t eat or drink, and people will be able to hear you if you go on YouTube and judge you for it. It’s a great area to focus completely on your important work and prevent temptation. A good piece of advice is to plan out your work in stages, which again sounds simple, but it is all too easy to drop your plans because you don’t have the motivation. Give yourself a schedule to do your work in pieces, and the task will seem much more manageable and convince you to keep to it. If you’re writing a 2,000-word essay, give yourself a number of words to do each day, even if it is as small as 250 a day, making sure you submit it on time of course, in order to create a quota to reach, which will give you little achievement endorphins that will encourage you to keep going. Plus, the relief from finishing things in plenty of time, that you still have time to change or edit it if you want, is very reassuring.

Be Together and Supportive

More than likely everybody in your group is feeling less-then-stellar as well, so it’s important to all stick together and support each other to get you all through it, the rest of them are doing the same work as you after all. A good thing to do is create a group chat amongst all of you, not only to give your group a stronger sense of togetherness, but to also constantly inform each other about upcoming deadlines, what their ideas are, what resources they’re using and how they’re tackling it. If it works well they can help you out if you need it or remind you if you’ve forgotten something, creating a loop of positivity (or mutual tiredness) that serves to keep all of you going. If you’ve developed friend groups, which you most likely have, you should take the time to visit one another outside of university time, especially if you live in the same accommodations. It gives you some relaxation time but also lets you banter about how you’re getting on and share ideas if you have any, getting rest and having fun with your friends is still vitally important after all. Finally, the best thing you can do in your group is work together during your assignments…and by that I mean literally form small groups, grab your laptops, sit somewhere and do your assignments together. This way, either your friends will support you in your work and elbow you if you’re not working, or you’ll look at how much work they’re doing and feel guilty, spurring you on to do more. It is definitely more effective than you think at getting you to work more, because you both motivate and are motivated by the people beside you to keep going, which is the best support you can get, really.

Hopefully these tips will help you in the final weeks leading up to Christmas. Hang in there, it’s within reach, and you can get through it, no matter how daunting it may seem. And if you need more reassuring, this blog is over 1,000 words and I wrote it in 2 hours. Good luck!


Blog Author: Elliot Woods 


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