Wednesday 10 April 2024

Overworking: How I work to be efficient

Daniel shares his tips and strategies to work efficiently while also enjoying time off.

- Daniel

A common problem for students is being overworked, as we all know, the work does not stop! As someone who is dyslexic, I often felt like I was falling behind. However, I found some techniques that helped me progress with my studies while also helping me to enjoy my free time. 

1. Morning routine

It is always hard to get work done when half the day has already gone. In my experience, getting up late becomes a habit that really hinders your ability to complete your work. Waking up early allowed me to complete more tasks and helped me with my workload, stress relief and mental health. 

2. Step-by-step assessments

Assessments are what count towards your final grade, but other work may need to be completed before cracking on with essay questions and projects. This is why I found doing a little bit of assessment work daily, like essay planning, helps to free up time for all the other work during the year, like exam revision. So, when you really need to focus on the assessment, you have more time to do so. It does not have to be much; a little bit of research or planning every day makes a difference. 

3. Take time off

It may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes it becomes a habit to work all of the time in order to get all your work done. But it will not be your best work and make you feel down if you miss out on events and opportunities. In my experience, I would make errors that I did not notice until after my work had been handed in. Therefore, it is very important to put strict limits on your work hours to keep your mind fresh and allow you to be efficient with your study time.

4. Pomodoro Technique

This technique helped me stay efficient and allowed me to get work done in small chunks. It includes multiple breaks and helps when you have work from different modules. 

5. Practicing core skills daily

My degree included a language and to keep my progress going in class and with my language skills, I would try to learn vocabulary and grammar and practice speaking with friends. This type of work can be transferred into other degree subjects. I recommend regular practice in these skills as it benefited me in my exams by saving time. 

Remember overworking and having less free time does not always put you ahead. It can put you further behind.

Whether you are looking for support for your own mental health at university or supporting a friend, help is available.

My name is Daniel and I have recently graduated from the University of Reading where I studied BA Spanish and History. During my time at university, I struggled with dyslexia and mental health issues, so it is my aim to help as many people as possible who are going through similar issues. 

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