I felt incredibly happy when I received an unconditional offer to study at the University of Westminster in September 2019! I knew that I wanted to do a Master’s degree not only to progress in my career but also to experience the whole student experience again.
Part of me knew it will be very exciting but will also have its challenges. However, I didn’t know exactly to what extent until I received my timetable. It turned out I have to attend 3-4 lectures every week and 1-2 workshops every other week. On top of that, I had a part-time job which really made me struggle in the first 4-5 weeks. I was really bad at time management!
One of my biggest challenges: Procrastination
The problem that I experienced, which many of you may relate to, is procrastination. Before I started university, I had a full-time 9 to 5 job. But after finishing work, I could go home, or go out a few days in a row. Sometimes I would spend the whole evening watching Netflix or scrolling through social media. Once you work and study at the same time, you rarely have the time to do all those things. This is especially if you are aiming for a 1st or a 2.1!
I did try to take some inspiration from some TED talks I watched, but essentially, watching them made me do the thing I was trying to battle with – procrastination. Once again, I was procrastinating by watching TED talks instead of doing something a bit more productive.
That’s when I decided I should get myself together. It was time to do something about it before I fail this master’s degree miserably! I did something which not every young person would do – I restricted access to my social media accounts. That’s right! I only allowed myself 15 min a day for this so-called ‘’pleasure’’ of doing nothing in particular when I felt bored. It was hard at the beginning, but as time passed, I noticed I spent much less time on my phone, and much more time being present. I studied more efficiently and ultimately – concentrated easier, not only when studying but also at work! On top of this, I ended up spending more time talking to people face-to-face, which I definitely prefer over texting.
Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
Another trick I use to trick my mind into focusing and not getting burnout is going to the gym. Yes, exercising has really made a difference in my life, as I only not keep my body healthy but also my mind. I always thought that taking the time to go the gym is something I shouldn’t do since I am so overwhelmed with responsibilities anyway. But taking some ‘me’ time couple of hours a week has proven to make you more productive in the long run. And whilst I am exercising, I mute my social media and let Spotify lead the way. It’s particularly fun when my friends decide to join me for a run. We then start competing who can burn the most calories!
I am still on the lookout for new and creative ways to give up my procrastination habit. One night I googled it and saw a wider range of different, often crazy ideas which I am not ready to try yet – for example, I don’t really fancy selling my smartphone just yet!
If this is something you can relate with, try out my social media restriction and gym hack and see where that takes you!
Thank you to Radina Kimonova, MA Human Resource Management student, for writing this blog piece.
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