For Wellbeing Week, one of our Positive Peers shares with us four tips for managing your workload.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me that time management has historically prompted a degree of anxiety for me. I have come to learn, however, that organisation is something you can work towards in small steps, and should not be accompanied by a pressure to be constantly productive. Instead, it can be something we are inclined to do, in order to maintain our wellbeing. Here are some of the best tips I have acquired in my self-professed plan to manage my workload.
1. Use a weekly planner
Whilst obvious to some and popular amongst many, planner-phobes hear me out when I say that investing my time in a weekly planner has been instrumental in managing my workload. Dividing each day into ‘work’ and ‘life’ tasks creates balance and visually depicts the layout of your week. Using a master list can help you declutter your mind by consolidating your top priorities for the week, with a section for reminders or reoccurring events. While featuring a section for remaining tasks makes them easily identifiable, so that you can transfer them to the next week without them slipping by. Finally, remember to start a new page each week so that you can be physically and mentally prepared for a fresh start!
2. Allocate your time realistically
It is important to allocate hours for a working day, otherwise you may feel easily overtired and realise that your work can become less efficient if your tasks run throughout the day. Be
realistic about how long certain tasks take you, and if necessary, start earlier to include time for checking. This also applies to assessment season, where it can be rewarding to consolidate your notes before exams or assessments begin.
3. Create time for rest and doing the things you enjoy
Whilst scheduling your hobbies appears to veer into Monica from Friends territory it is essential, in order to avoid burnout and create variety, especially whilst working from home. Incorporate breaks into your weekly plan, such as baking, experimenting with a new recipe for dinner or Face Timing friends. As you can tell my hobbies are predominantly food-oriented, however, the latter is important for everyone to continue maintaining and investing in social relationships as you would during any other term. Hopefully, this will have a positive impact on your mood.
4. Your mindset matters
Something I came across whilst scrolling on social media is to reframe your mindset about your workload and daily tasks from, ‘I have to do these things’ to ‘I get to do these things’. After a prolonged summer of disturbed plans and finally returning to a schedule, this change in attitude can importantly inspire a twofold sense of gratitude for being able to fill your time and serve as a reminder of the privilege of education.
Despite the current global uncertainty, managing your workload can be a source of fulfilment and an opportunity for you to instil personalised positive habits, which can help you learn how you work best and encourage mental clarity.
These tips are not universal and do not seek to diminish anyone’s individual experience. Rather, I seek to share an outlook which has personally helped me organise my time and may assist others who are searching for advice on managing your workload.