Sunday, 30 December 2012

Frustration Busters

So, you're hunched over your desk (as you have been for the last three hours) trying desperately to think of a way to begin that essay which is unfortunately due in less than 24 hours. You're frustrated because you can't think of anything and then you become frustrated that you're frustrated because it makes it harder to think which makes you even more frustrated because you can't think and you're running out of time and....
 In this kind of situation there is no point in forcing yourself to continue. It's wasting time instead of being productive. You need to relax before any work worth handing in can be done. But everyone says relax or calm down or whatever. The question is how? You don't have time to waste going to the gym or meeting a friend or watching TV. So what can you do? Well. here are some suggestions:

  • Make yourself a drink or snack. I know you've heard this before. Everyone says it. But that's because it actually works. And who doesn't like food? Just try to choose something remotely good for you. (No, strawberry-flavoured lollipops DO NOT count :D)
  • Get up and exercise. Yes, that's right. Believe it or not, exercise can actually invigorate you and get you all pumped and ready to go. However, I would not recommend this if you are in a public place i.e. the library. People will give you funny looks. 
  • Try some concious free stream writing. This is really effective to use before studying as well. Find out more here.
  • Switch tasks. Do you have any other important tasks to complete? Switching to a very different subject can help e.g. from English Lit to Maths ( if you're weird like me and study both at A-level) These subjects require you to use different skills and parts of your brain, so you can rest the overworked parts. Think of it like switching exercises during a workout so you don't overwork or pull a muscle.
  • Do something easy. Are you good at solving simultaneous equations? Do a bunch of them. Do you frequently beat the high score on Angry Birds? Or maybe you have a special talent for balancing spoons on you nose. Whatever. Just do something you are good at for 5 or 10 minutes just to remind yourself of your own amazingness. Then, when you sit down to tackle that horrid essay, you have your brilliant self-belief to get you through. After all, what is Larkin compared to the master of spoon-balancing?
So next time you find yourself going crazy over some work (hopefully not too soon!) try out these suggestions and tell me how you get on.
Good Luck!

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