Wellbeing: Time Management

Daniel A, Nic C and Tara S | Year 11 Students | Grammar News | 15 October 2021

Everybody knows stress.


It seems to be an inevitable part of the human experience. One that lingers at the back of your mind and suddenly, at the sight of an exam block, comes rearing out in full force. It’s not a good feeling. Productive, maybe, but not good. It’s the feeling of thinking about everything you need to do, and then thinking of 1000 more. No, I can’t do this now, because I have to walk the dog, and read some notes, and go to handball practice - the list can go on and on, and before we know it, the mere thought of anything at all is enough to require a long, hot, relaxing bath.


This feels familiar, doesn’t it? You just have too much piling onto your plate that things start to tumble off. Due dates escape your attention, assessments are rushed and your mind is in a constant state of overdrive. And more often than not, the amount of things to get done is unavoidable, and the amount of time to do them is near-impossible.


So what to do when there is too much to do?


  1. Take a breather - Yes, that's right. Yoga style. Panic helps nothing. Sit down, have a shower, stare into space - whatever floats your boat. Just let your mind relax for a couple of minutes and remember that there’s more to life than deadlines

  2. Make a list - Check it twice, find out who’s naughty, find out who’s nice. But in all seriousness, writing down (on paper) everything that is on your mind not only makes it easier to understand and fathom, but also leaves some room to think now that you're not so busy remembering everything you need to do. Added Bonus: checking off items from a to-do list is notoriously satisfying.

  3. Prioritise - As the old saying goes - “Swallow the toad”. No, not literally- this isn’t a Disney movie. In essence what it means is to get the hardest, most boring jobs done first, the ones you would otherwise have put off until the end. Once those are done, the rest is a breeze! And regardless of vague quotes, prioritising your tasks and goals is really important in understanding the difference between doing a task because you have to, and doing a task to procrastinate doing the harder, more laborious thing (The “Toad”)

  4. One step at a time - When it all looks like a big, overwhelming pile of work that just can’t be overcome, your best strategy can commonly be to just get going. As they say the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is now. So, whatever step you take, big or small, it will still make a difference. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

  5. Timetable it - This one certainly won’t be for us all, but there is such a value in getting down all your work and slotting them into allotted times. While we aren’t asking you to plan your life down to the second, it can be helpful and relieve a lot of the stress that can come as a result of the disorganised chaos many of us can feel when we are coming into the exam period. The key to an effective timetable is to also make it achievable! We can all dream that we’re unrelenting robots, able to push away any distractions and work for four hours a night, but we all know that this won’t be the case.