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callum perry

undergraduate education
callum.perry@uea.ac.uk

'tis the season for deadlines: tips to get you through

Hi everyone! Tis nearly the season for deadlines, it’s come around quick but that does not mean you need to go into panic mode. I’m going to give you some advice for achieving a healthy work/life balance as well as managing your deadlines.  

Knowing where to start can be the hardest part when summative season kicks in. Managing academic workload with paid work and other commitments can be overwhelming, especially when all-nighters seem like the only option. 

What can you do to help keep stress at bay and deal with those deadlines? 

  1. It is important to set yourself realistic goals because let’s be honest, how likely is it that you’ll get 10,000 words done in one sitting? By setting small and achievable goals, you’ll find yourself feeling productive and keeping on track to hit those deadlines 

  2. Ensure you block off enough time for you to complete these realistic goals, having a diary of when you’re doing the work and ensuring you stick to it will help 

  3. Break up large tasks into smaller pieces, it will become more achievable. Instead of seeing it as a 12,000 word dissertation, break it down into a 1,000 words for a literature review. It doesn’t seem as overwhelming, breaking them down also help you keep sight of future tasks which need to be started 

  4. Utilise apps which you can get on your phone to stop you getting distracted by social media or Mario Kart. A personal favourite is forest; you can set a time you want the app to lock your apps for you, while you work it will grow a digital tree. If you want to give up, you’ll kill the cute little tree. There are many apps like this to find which one is for you 

  5. It is easy to forget about looking after yourself when you’ve got a lot of work to do. However, please remember to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and you’ll find yourself to be quite productive 

  6. Schedule some time into your day for exercise, the healthier your body, the clearer your concentration can be. I always feel ready for the day if I do some exercise in the morning, it doesn’t have to be a marathon, it can literally be a walk around the lake 

  7. Take regular breaks when studying to give your mind a rest, go for a coffee or a walk with a friend 

  8. Whilst still on the topic of breaks, it is a good idea to go and speak to people whilst you’re on them! It will help you keep mentally healthy by upholding your social life 

  9. A popular one for everyone is to make lots of lists! Colour coordinate them, make them look pretty but they help you see what you have or have not done. Also, there is nothing more satisfying than when you tick everything off your list; it pushes you to be productive 

  10. Always ask for help when you need it. It doesn’t matter what it is you need help for, there are many services and groups to support you. Academic advisers are there for work-based assistance. Also, advice(su) and Student Support Services or Learning Enhancement Team (LET) are alternative services to support you

These are just some tips for you, they may or may not work for everyone, so it is important to find what works for you with managing stress and deadlines sooner rather than later. If you want to make some friends or have a break from work life, then there is a great support group at UEA called ‘Take 5’. You can read Amelia’s blog all about them here. They provide opportunities for arts and crafts, games, petting Ice the therapy dog and talking to a wellbeing advisor. 

An Undergraduate Dissertation Workshop happening in Bookable Room 5 on Wednesday 11th December 2019 from 2-4pm. This is an opportunity for you to chat to others about how your dissertations are going, talk to LET and get some support or just work on your essay in a non-pressuring environment.  

Freebies? We will be handing out my new Academic Health Kits which contain lots of useful resources to help you through the deadline season.  

Buddy(su) are also on hand to help make sense of all your tasks and deadlines – Be sure to check out my video on how to make lists and keep organised. Coming Soon... 

Look after yourselves this deadline season and good luck with all your assessments! I know you will all smash them. As always, feel free to contact me with any issues you have at callum.perry@uea.ac.uk 

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