Staying social whilst managing deadlines

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So it’s coming up to the festive time of the year again and we’re all thinking about gifts and stuffing our mouths with roast turkey and Christmas cake. We all want to go out and party, dress up and hang out with family and friends. But there’s one thing we keep on thinking about, and it hangs there heavily on our shoulders, our university work! Have you got deadlines to consider, essays to write, assessments that have to be handed in soon? It’s like a tug of war between deadline and social life, but which one do we choose?

Balancing work and social events can be tricky and sometimes people can get more and more stressed about the educational side of life until they forget the other aspects such as friends and family. A balance needs to be set so that you can concentrate on those deadlines as well as relax and have fun.

Here are some tips on how to manage the tug of war between deadlines and your social life:

1. Make a plan for the week. Know what needs to be done, schedule in your deadlines so there is no last-minute panic. Also, if you have anything planned socially, write those in too so that you don’t miss out.

2. When you are focused, try to turn social media off to avoid distractions. For example, a typical scenario; you’re relaxed, books are open, pen to paper, ready to go and then… your phone beeps. Once your mind drifts away it can be really difficult to focus again. Unless you’re waiting to hear from someone important, turning social media off can be really useful.

3. Chill out and have breaks in between revision periods. See your family and friends and really take the time to do something enjoyable. This can relax you and make it easier to focus the next time you sit down to do your work. It’s important to engage in something that doesn’t revolve around uni work. This helps to balance your focus between ‘fun’ and ‘work’.

4. If you are stressed whilst doing a piece of work, stop. If you continue, you will get more frustrated with yourself. Manage your time to seek advice and help from lecturers, study support staff/groups and fellow students to gain a little clarification around your assignment. Bear in mind that you will need to plan time to access help or talk to lecturers outside of teaching time. Once you get rid of whatever is bugging you, you’ll be able to finish your assignment in no time!

5. Try to complete as much work as possible during the week. Being productive between lectures means you have less of a ‘to do’ list when you get home. Using ‘free’ hours spent in the library researching or refining draft hours allows you to fit in all those social plans at the weekend guilt free. Use your time wisely!

6. Family and friends are there for fun but they can also help you with your work. If you know you are not an organised person, ask your family or friends to help you with a plan. This way you can socialise and focus at the same time.

Work and social life do not always have to be separate; sometimes they can be done at the same time. If your friends have the same work and deadlines as you then you can plan to have a revision session. Grab a pizza, share ideas and help each other with the work. Two, three or four minds are normally better than one. This will make the work much less tiresome and a lot more fun. Think about your priorities and what you need to do but always keep social life and university work balanced as you should be focused but also happy and enjoying this festive time of the year.

Good Luck!

Nicole Vizard lives at Liberty Atlantic Point in Liverpool and she’s a 1st year student studying Dance at Liverpool John Moores University.

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