By Simone Malekar
We’ve all experienced it, especially after working hard for a while. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of “maybe tomorrow” and put off work. I’ve personally experienced it so many times while at Oxford, likely because of the intensive nature of the short terms. As a result, I’ve experimented with many ways to get out of a slump and here are some of the things that have worked for me:
1. Get out of the house. I’ve found that when I stay at home, I’m easily tempted to work in bed or get a snack. As a result, I’ve realised that working in libraries is an easy way for me to get out of my house, see other people, and feed off their productivity to get back into my routine. Plus, it means you get to explore all the amazing libraries in Oxford.
2. Have a set start and stop time. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten is to treat my degree like a full-time job, which means working from about 9am to 5pm every day and then having the nights and weekends as free as possible. This is a great tip because it means that there is a distinction between my work and home time, and also means I have a set time to wake up on most days.
3. Use the pomodoro technique. In my experience, I lose focus easily because of notifications from my phone or other distractions. So, I downloaded Flora on my phone and installed a timer on my laptop to set out 25 minute working blocks and 5 minute break times to check my phone, get a snack, etc. I’ve found that I’m much more productive using this technique and I end up doing more than I had thought I could accomplish.
I know this list is not exhaustive and what works for you may be different than what works for me. At the end of the day, it is important to try new methods to motivate yourself and also practice self-care to ensure that you don’t burn out.
Thank you for reading and let us know how you find these tips!