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How to cope with the week five freak-out

Thursday, 22 March 2012


We all know the feeling – it seems like uni only started a few weeks ago, and suddenly everything’s piling up. You’ve been busy catching up with friends, and getting your head around the fact that summer’s over, and now all your work has snuck up on you. Oops.

Never fear! The Faculty of Business and Law is here, and we have compiled a handy action plan to help you turn it all around – and fast.

  • Remove all distractions. This pile-up will never be completed unless you turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, and log off Facebook.
  • Prioritise. Lists are underrated, and so are highlighters. Make a list of everything you have to do between now and the end of semester/next week/tomorrow, and then pick up some red, orange and green highlighters. Work on the traffic light system – highlight items in red if they must be done right now, orange if they are not so critical but are still important, and green for items that it would be nice to do if time permits, but aren’t so necessary. Don’t forget to cross off the items as you’re done with them – that’s the really satisfying bit.
  • Time yourself. This will help you to be disciplined, and not get distracted. If you know you’ve only got a set amount of time to do a set amount of tasks, you can break your time up accordingly. Say you have four hours before you have to leave for work, and eight tasks you’ve highlighted in red that you really need to get to. Set a timer for half an hour and go! It can be really motivating to try and finish something before the buzzer goes off.
  • Work smart. If you don’t have time to finish items before the buzzer sounds, move on if all the items are of equal priority. At least you’ll get something done for each task, rather than everything for a few and nothing for others. Work smart – when it comes down to it, it’s usually better to get a pass or a credit for everything rather than a high distinction for two things and a fail mark for the other two. Although ideally you’ll be able to put in your best effort for everything.
  • Eat, drink and rest. Fuel that brain of yours, and reward it for all its hard work by taking short breaks to eat, drink and rest. Taking short 10 minute breaks as you go will prevent you from completely burning out later, when you get a headache from not drinking enough water or from staring at your laptop for too long.
  • Seek help. If you’re doing all you can, but still struggling, that’s not something you should keep quiet about. If you don’t understand the assignment or task, speak up - contact your lecturer or tutor and get some clarity. If you think you need help with your skills, visit the Academic Skills Centre, or attend one of their many free workshops on topics such as referencing, writing, and presenting.

More information

For more information on study skills, visit the Faculty of Business and Law Academic Skills Centre in Building 2 at Joondalup, or Building 10 at Mount Lawley. You can also access their workshop timetables online by logging in to Blackboard.

Faculty of Business and Law Academic Skills Centre

Phone: 134 ECU (134 328)


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