Working Thoughts w/ Teapigs

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[Morning Glory Tea – Teapig*]

In about a month’s time my university exams will be starting – something I know I am not alone in – and they are only going to add to my increasingly busy schedule. So, what do I do to make sure I stay on top of things? (Because let’s be honest I have done these exam things a few times before…) Well, after a lot of thought, and a cup or two of TeaPigs tea, here are my top tips for surviving a heavy workload:

1. BE INFORMED

Before you dive into this mountain of work that’s been pushed your way, stop and think for a second. Do you have all the information you need to complete this project? Do you know the deadline, format and – most importantly for exams and assignments – what is expected from you? If the answer is no to any of these, then go and find the answers. The worst possible thing to do is to put lots of energy into the wrong place, so be sure of what you are doing before committing yourself. It is a lot easier to score if you know where the goal is…

2. DELEGATE

Once you have all the information, now ask yourself do I really need to do all of this? Obviously this doesn’t apply to exams or assignments but for work projects, maybe you can enlist someone else to share the workload. Not only will this decrease your stress levels but it might actually improve the quality of what you do end up working on. If you are worrying about the obvious drawbacks of this – someone else getting credit, you appearing out of your depth – then remember that delegation is an important skill to learn and many employers will admire you for taking the initiative. It also gives you the chance to build closer relationships with your colleagues and gain knowledge from their areas of expertise.

3. PRIORITISE

Now you have a minimal to do list in front of you have a think about how long each thing is going to take you and when they need to be completed by. It may sound pretty obvious but it very easy to neglect certain projects and then you have to rush to finish them last minute. Trust me, I’ve been there.

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4. KEEP BUSY

This might seem like a controversial piece of advice, and yes it doesn’t work for everyone but I find it really helps me get through. Just because you have a lot on your plate does not mean you should restrict other things in your life. Say yes to that drink at the pub, take on a few more hours, go to the gym… If you keep yourself busy and interested you will have more energy than if you do the bare minimum halfheartedly. But, like I said this works for me (at the moment I am working 20+ hours a week, doing a full time degree, interning, freelancing and trying to maintain a social life) and I like being kept on my toes and this might not be the case for you.

5. TREAT YOURSELF

This kind of links to the above point about keeping busy, but is more to do with making sure you still have time for the things that matter to you, the things that make the hard work worthwile. So, don’t deny yourself a shopping trip or feel guilty about taking time out to read a good book. Those are the things that are going to keep you motivated and happy to get more stuff done.

6. REFLECT

After a long period of change, be that completing a project, passing some exams, or starting a new job I always feel it is worthwhile looking back at what you have just achieved rather than stressing about what is to come. The best way to do this is to regularly update your CV with all your new skill and achievements, it not only acts as a morale and ego boost but means your CV is always ready and up to date – one less thing to worry about! You might even be shocked by how much you have managed to do in such a short period of time, without even realising it.

Hope you found that useful! Any tips you guys have for my upcoming exams?

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One response to “Working Thoughts w/ Teapigs

  1. Great advice! I just finished my finals yesterday and I did better than I thought. I know I didn’t follow all of your suggestions (I sacrificed my social life, I was too stressed out to socialize with others, I would’ve been a huge downer) much of your advice is very sound! Good luck on your exams.

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