23 wellbeing things. No. 8, Making working work for you
It is a well known saying in business that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. There is some truth in this. Arriving at the end of your course with only hours to spare to start your dissertation is a fairly certain way to fail. At the other extreme, planning your life inflexibly and in detail, and then beating yourself up for not sticking to your rigid timetable is equally self-defeating. Forget charts of precisely what you will do when, simply work out how long at a minimum that you intend to spend on everything, map this out, allow a little leeway, and then focus on what you need to do first. Don’t waste time choosing, pick something urgent and start!
Have clear short-term goals and sprint towards them. Try to beat your own deadlines. Check that you are still on track, that you are answering the assignment question and not what you would like it to have asked, and then get your head down and sprint some more. You will work best in short, exciting, focused sprints than idling away at projects in the comfortable twilight of procrastination.
Try achieving something over 25 minutes, then change what you are doing and thinking about completely for five minutes, and then resettle. That five minute break is a great opportunity to go to the toilet, refill your water bottle, get up and stretch, fetch the next book you need, catch up on text messages – anything really. It is the change of pace that will reset your concentration and help you make it through the next bout of intense concentration.