There’s something about emerging from what feels like an actual ton of work that makes me feel like I’ve come back from the dead. Let me sum up my thoughts from the past week:
More specifically: the end of the semester has attacked me. The end of the semester brings with it a plethora of projects and assignments, all due at the same time. And while I’ve known about them for the whole semester, I didn’t start them until about a week before they were due. Because I’m awesome at procrastinating like that. Don’t believe me?
My easiest assignment last week was a 10-page paper. That I started two days before it was due. Yay me!
But it wasn’t a complete disaster! I got things done and I even learned a couple things in the process. (You didn’t think this was just going to be a rant, did you? I’ve got to make it somehow helpful!)
1. Divide to conquer. Breaking your project/assignment up into smaller chunks is the best thing you can do for yourself. It makes it easier, yes, but it also makes you feel like you’re getting things done. Rather than write four of ten pages, write three sections. Then reward yourself. Then keep going.
2. Keep going. It’s really easy, when you’ve gotten a portion of your work done and are taking a break, to just stop. But don’t. Don’t you dare. Keep that momentum!
3. Prioritize! This can be hard, especially when you have deadlines around the same time. But I’ve found that bouncing around between assignments is too distracting. Pick one thing, power through it, and move on.
4. Take breaks. While you need to keep going to get things done, you also need to take breaks for your sanity’s sake. Short breaks every hour or so, even just to get up and walk in a circle, will give your brain a chance to breathe. Then you can refocus on your work.
5. Reward yourself. I talked about this a little bit in another blog post. Know what motivates you and do it! If you have to, bribe yourself with chocolate, or a movie, or hanging out with friends. Whatever gets you going. Little rewards along the way make you feel like you’re actually accomplishing something instead of just slaving away.
I know I’m not the only one dealing with end of the semester stress right now, so I just want to encourage those of you in the same boat. WE CAN DO IT!
How do you beat your stress?