Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

We got Dis

We got Dis

Well the five-week-long semester break has finally come to an end and before me is a two-week sprint to complete my dissertation draft and hand it in. It’s funny how my brain insists I’m unprepared despite me working on this for a while now. Still the approaching deadline has definitely got me in need of an extra level of effort and determination.  I’ve put together a list of common issues I’ve been running into stopping me from focusing and some ideas of how to improve them.

 

Fuzzy Eyes

I spend a lot of my time staring at screens. University is online, I write these blogs on my laptop, I Zoom my friends in the evenings and when I’m not doing that I’m playing Nintendo. This is all great until I reach that moment where my eyes just dart across the place unable to latch onto the words on my screen and I’m left staring blankly at my laptop not taking anything in.

At this point my plan is to print out my work and write my notes and ideas over the top of it in coloured pens. The pens have to be multicoloured, it’s the law.

Not Starting

I thought after this long in isolation my body would adjust to the change in pace of life, but unfortunately it has not. Without my old rituals of getting up and walking to Uni or the train station, I find myself waking up but not really starting my day.

My solution to this depends on the weather but this morning I grabbed a flask of coffee and just drank it on a quick walk around the park in the sun. Just getting up and out really helped boost my mood and I came back to my laptop much more focused than my sleepy starts.

The Fear

Agh, so much of it! The stress of big projects often makes them completely overwhelming and it’s very tempting just to turn away and ignore it hoping it will just sort itself out. Even when I spend a lot of time working, my brain still tells me I’m not doing enough and I’m not achieving anything.

In these moments I’ve had a couple of methods that have helped me get back into control of it. The first is set a realistic target of words (250 in my case) and just write out a paragraph on the topic, the work might be bad, it might be flawed, you might not have all the research for it but it will be written and once you’ve done it you can go over and improve it. This method is what I call bad work is better than no work!

The dread of having to read yet another book

This one is something I’ve really been feeling, I’ve referred to so many journal and book sources for my research which is the best place to gather the information. But when it comes to needing information on how to structure the work or how to analyse the data you have gathered, reading yet another book is extremely depressing.

I’ve been using videos to get a grasp of these areas, and it’s been so nice to just sit back and listen to the information for a change! It’s just important to make sure that whatever you’re watching is relevant to the type of data you’re analysing, but that’s the same with using anything.

 

I’m excited to start my new modules this week – I always feel much more motivated when I have more going on in my life. I’m hoping that the next two weeks will remain productive, the end is in sight!

Josh



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