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How to cope when you’re overwhelmed by work

Working while you study can be the best of both worlds. Not only are you getting an education but you’re also bringing in a pay check at the same time. However, there can be times when it’s hard to get the balance right. The good news is there are a few ways you can maximize your time and avoid letting work and study get the best of you.

1. Clear your mind

A cluttered mind can hinder your ability to be productive so clear your mind by writing down everything you have to do on separate Post-its. Assess and divide your tasks into piles – things to do now, things to do next week and things that can wait. Tackle the most pressing items and enjoy the satisfaction of ripping up each completed Post-it as you go along!

How to cope when you’re overwhelmed by work

2. Stop multitasking

Research has shown that multitasking actually means you’re working more slowly with less accuracy – training yourself to focus on one task at a time actually gets work done much faster. This means not having multiple things on the go such as reading a spreadsheet, returning phone calls and trying to prep for a meeting all at the same time.

3. Eliminate distractions

The world will not end if you do not respond to an email 0.01 seconds after receiving it. If you’ve got an urgent task that needs completing, it’s okay to give yourself a window of time to do it distraction-free. This means shutting down your email, closing any unnecessary tabs on your computer and diverting your phone to voicemail.

4. Take a break

Whether you go for a walk, grab a cup of tea or simply head outside for a few minutes, it’s important to step away from your desk to gather your thoughts.

5. Talk to your manager

If your workload is reaching crazy levels, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your boss will be more receptive to what you’re saying if you’ve outlined your issues with suggestions of how to fix the problem. For example, if one particular report is getting a little overwhelming to do on your own each month, ask if it’s possible to divide it up and get some assistance from someone else on the team to help speed up the process.

Want to know more about how other people balance work with study? Check out SEEK Learning’s tips on finding the right course and achieving better work-life balance

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