Editorial
21 October 2020

4 Tips to Avoid Burnouts and Keep Your Productivity Game Going

As we all know, it’s that time of the semester where sheets of paper and multiple files pile up as you rush to meet the deadline to get that pointer that you dream of. We agree that it’s not easy, but we at Taylor’s Connect have a few tips that might just help you get through this enduring period!

Tip #1: Know your Priority

 

More often than not, when we have too much on our plate, we tend to feel overwhelmed. If possible, try to delegate important tasks and block a period of time to do it. This allows you to fully focus on one particular activity before proceeding with another to prevent from being engulfed by the workload. 

But what if you're not sure about which to tackle first? 

The following steps may help:

  1. Write down a list of things you have to do. Just pour them out on a piece of blank paper without worrying about what should come first.

  2. Take a few minutes and ask yourself these 3 questions for every item on your list.
    - Must it really be done?
    - Must it be done today?
    - Must it be done by me?

  3. Evaluate and decide your priorities.

Remember this quote by American author, Brandon Sanderson, “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.”

Tip #2: Conquer Procrastination

 

We’re all familiar with the anxiety-inducing inertia of procrastination — “I really should be doing my assignment, but I can’t seem to stop scrolling through my Instagram feed!” 

It’s easy to generalise procrastination to sheer laziness, but science has proven that there's more to it — the reason could be unique to our respective situations. Implementing targeted action plans that specifically deal with the problem at hand may come in handy.

If you hear yourself saying:

1. “There’s so much to do, I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish it!”

Try breaking down the daunting task into manageable portions and commit to completing it every time.

2. “This assignment is so boring. I’d rather do literally anything else.”

Try rewarding yourself for any progress, no matter how little.

3. “I get so easily distracted by Netflix or texts from my friends!”

Try using apps that block out those distractions or putting away your phone entirely.

4. “The assignment deadline is months away. I can totally start later!”

Try setting a schedule where you can get something completed every day until the deadline.

Tip #3: Assess Your Stress

 

With so much going on during a semester, sometimes it’s hard to monitor your stress levels until you’ve experienced a burnout, when it’s much harder to bounce back into productivity. 

So before you come anywhere close to that, we recommend taking 5 minutes each day to reflect on your physiological, mental, and emotional state.

Some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Have I become more vulnerable to illnesses lately?

  • Have I been suffering from frequent headaches or body pains?

  • Has it been more difficult for me to focus on tasks nowadays?

  • Have I been worrying excessively and ruminating on the past/future?

  • Have I felt more irritable or moody recently?

  • Have I been avoiding contact with family and friends?

Making time for a daily checkpoint can be extremely beneficial not only in assessing and addressing your stress, but keeping your overall health in check. If you reach the burnout stage, take a deep breath and allow yourself a break. That assignment can wait — after all, your well-being is of the utmost importance.

 

Tip #4: Practice self-care

 

For most of us, self-care during exam or assignment season sounds like the last thing we want to do but it’s actually worth considering. Blocking an hour or even 20 minutes of your least productive time to do an activity you like — meditate, journal, go for a short walk, catch up with a friend, or find inspiration via a book, podcast, or TED Talk — can do wonders to your emotions and cognitive functions. 

Without taking a short rest, chances are that you'd spend even more time trying to complete your task while feeling zoned out.

Remind yourself that self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Self-care may sound like a selfish luxury, we’re here to assure you that it’s anything but. It gives you the energy to pursue the things that really matter to you — and that’s a great use of your time.

With these tips in mind, we hope you’ll be able to kick into productivity gear and complete your assignments on time without disregarding your mental and emotional health. From all of us in Team Connect, good luck and take care!

Taylor's Connect is a student-led peer support initiative that aims to provide Taylorians with a friendly and inclusive safe space to connect with one another, by cultivating emotional wellness and encouraging personal development amongst our fellow students.

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TAGS
EMPOWER
PRODUCTIVITY
MENTAL HEALTH
SELF-CARE

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