Tips for Managing Your Workload
Sometimes it can feel as though there are too few hours in the day to get everything done. How are you supposed to find time to finish your degree between work, errands, family obligations, and even unexpected curveballs? Adding school to a full plate can seem impossible, but it isn't. Managing your workload is key to helping you cross the finish line. Below are some simple tips you can easily incorporate into your life to help you manage your workload and prioritize your time.
Time blocking is a common practice that divides your day into blocks where you focus on one task for a specific block of time (e.g., one or two hours). Creating time blocks helps manage your time and spread the workload into more manageable sprints throughout the day or week.
- Helps establish a workflow and minimizes distractions
- Creates a sense of control which can reduce stress
- Enhances concentration and focus, which improves productivity
Planning your week can help you understand your upcoming deadlines and other obligations and appointments you have in your personal and work lives. Start by blocking out the time for activities that can't be moved, such as work or appointments, and add all your deadlines for the week. Planning ahead helps you prioritize your time better, increasing your productivity.
- Helps you focus on the important things and keep track of responsibilities
- Makes you more productive and maintains balance
- Helps to say no and feel in control
Create Micro Goals
Create micro goals for each task focusing on what you need to do now to achieve the short goal. For example, complete the reading for your class in the next hour or finish the outline for the final paper today. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you have a lot going on, but by creating micro goals, it's easier to stay focused on the task at hand.
- Helps you stay motivated
- Builds confidence and momentum
- Prevents you from feeling overwhelmed
Do Not Procrastinate
It is easy to keep putting things off because we are busy or don't want to deal with them at the moment. But getting into the habit of getting things done and not procrastinating is key to managing a busy workload. Procrastination only delays the inevitable and adds more unnecessary stress to your life.
- Helps you feel more in control
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases efficiency
Schedule Time For Yourself
Always make sure to schedule some downtime for yourself! Whether using the time to meditate, exercise, socialize, or take a hot bath, we must prioritize downtime in our daily lives. Decompressing by taking time for yourself is critical to help you keep going for the long haul. Prioritizing time for yourself is one of the most important things you can do. After all, you can't give what you don't have.
- It helps clear your mind and allows your brain to rest
- Reenergizes you so you can keep going
- Reduces stress
Ask for Help
Asking for help is not a weakness. It is a sign of maturity, perseverance, and grit. Your family, friends, professors, and even neighbors can be a pillar of support during busy times.
- Helps lighten your load so you can focus on other tasks
- Builds connections with others
- Decreases stress levels and increases energy
Most importantly, don't forget that your Student Success Team is here to help you succeed and support you while you complete your degree. Your team can help you identify resources and get you in touch with the right people at the University of Oklahoma. They are here to guide and support you on your graduate school journey.