You’re in a circus: juggle!
As university students, we are all juggling several projects at a time. More students are working in part-time jobs, volunteering, interning, and of course working on those assignments all while trying to maintain a decent social life. While we are gaining useful skills, sometimes, we bite off more than we can chew, exposing ourselves to negative effects on our health and wellbeing. Here are six tips to become an effective juggler.
1. Say ‘Yes’ to ‘No’
Saying ‘No’ can be difficult, but it is important to identify your limit and draw the line. Take time to think about whether you can really take on more balls to juggle. If you can’t, follow up the ‘No’ with a more reasonable date, or ask for help.
2. Don’t multitask – multimanage
When multitasking, focusing on the task at hand is difficult. Focus requires discipline – especially if you are easily distracted. Focusing is an exercise that takes practice. If you are working on Project A and a random thought about Project B enters your mind, quickly write it down so you don’t forget and get back to Project A.
It’s always useful to put your phone on silent and far away from you when working on an important project. This helps prevent those social media distractions.
3. You’ve heard this before: PLAN
Spend some time at the start of every morning to decide what you want to accomplish for the day and prepare a timeline. At the end of the day, revisit your plan to evaluate how much you were able to accomplish. This way, you identify how much you can realistically get done in a day and it also gives you a sense of accomplishment which keeps you going.
4. Go easy on yourself
Don’t give yourself the idea that you have too much on your plate. Instead, look at your task list and think about how easy it is to get it all done if you just focus. Reward yourself when you accomplish something and take breaks. A simple walk outside or a trip to the beach or park can help you refresh your brain and focus better.
5. Try and get a job near uni, or at uni!
While not essential, working near uni saves travel time and you can work the same day you have classes. This way you can also take on more shifts. But remember to let work know your uni schedule. Be transparent with your boss about your uni timetable and request some flexibility during the exam period.
6. Weigh the scales
My final tip is to stop and ask yourselves if it’s really worth it. We are all trying to build our skills, earn money for that new big purchase, and start preparing for life after uni, but if you find yourself exhausted and unable to see your friends, then maybe work a little less. Dropping one shift a week to sleep in or see your friends could be more useful than you think.
Uni is a stressful time. It’s impossible to get everything done perfectly. There will be some days or weeks where it just doesn’t feel like you can get it all done. It’s important to be patient with yourself, take a break, and try again. To make the process easier, make some friends, have a few laughs, and explore.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Intern at UTS Careers
Mukta is a dynamic and creative international student at UTS, and is currently an Intern at UTS Careers. Having completed a Bachelors degree and now pursuing a Masters degree in IT, Mukta is well aware of the struggle to juggle!