Monday, September 10, 2012

Feeling overwhelmed? Here are 4 strategies:

This is a repost from last year. It is the best summary I've written of the four strategies that I find most helpful.

The start of graduate school can certainly feel overwhelming. Here are a my top my top four strategies for dealing with feeling overwhelmed. I have listed some of these ideas in other posts, but I'm listing them here together all under this theme.

1. Make a weekly to do list... spend a few minutes with your syllabus and note exactly what you need to do for the next class. This will help you pull back from thinking about all the work over the course of the semester and instead to focus on the most immediate work.

2. Do something every day. Read even one chapter or part of a chapter. Begin an assignment. Heck, even just download articles. Do something. Find little chunks of time: lunch hour, get up early before work, read on the bus... see if you can carve out some extra time. These little bits of work will add up and will help you build and maintain momentum.

3. Take something off your plate. If you have a significant other or kids, ask for their help around the house (e.g. they do dishes while you have "study hall"). If you have a lot of outside of work commitments, this might be time to cut back.

4. Ask for help. If you are still having trouble managing, if it still feels overwhelming, talk with classmates to get ideas on how they are handling the work load. And definitely talk with your professor and/or someone in your academic skills center. Often, someone who is outside of your experience can help you assess and improve time management, work strategies, etc.

You can do this! Remember, many students have come before you, have felt just as overwhelmed, and have succeeded!

Cheering you on,

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