Session with Claire Stewart
Feelings of stress, low mood or anxiety put you in a zone where you can't really produce work. And repeitive days - its a stifling way to live. We're doing work but it feels like it isn't progressing - but recognise that those small bits of work are still pushing you forward.
This is about easing the pressure on yourself.
Keeping journals or a notebook where you can spill our your thoughts and feelings can help you to manage the need to vent and negative feelings.
Don't downplay your feelings and mental health just because you're comparing yourself to some people who might have it harder. They're all still the same feelings.
Working while on call to other students can help to create what's been lost. Working along side eachother can help to recreate the atmosphere of the studio.
Being able to compartmentalise can help to seperate work from home.
Work space - what can you do to make that look more like a studio space? Make it inspiring! Decorate it with things you like to look at!
Reflecting once a week. How did this week go? What can I do better next week? Can be very essential to feeling in control of staying on track.
Compartmentalising. Having one space where you work, and one where you do everything else.
If working at the desk, maybe cover it over with a sheet at the end of the day. Removing it from sight.
You can't work constantly. You need to have a stopping point, a make a routine that you stick to.
Routine can seperate your day - tidying your desk, having a shower every day after work.
"Not something that I do personally, but I've heard that some people who work digitally create alternate accounts on their computers specifically for doing their work on. Like clocking in and out of work, but digitally."
Helping make opportunities for simulated social activities. "Every Friday lunch you and your friends have a virtual coffee meeting." Voice chat will do more for you than group chats, but only if they're working too.
Create a timeline from NOW to the end of the semester. For example:
It can help you manage your time and your stress levels. Create your own timetable.
It doesn't have to be fixed. It can change. Don't feel the pressure too hard, just try to stay on track the best you can. Weekly planners are also worth having. A to do list for every day.
Take it in chuncks. Looking at how much work you have to do can be overwhelming, you don't know where to start or how to get through it. So start small. Break the project down into smaller stages. Each stage has a set of tasks. Start ticking things off, and you start to build a momentum. You can slowly build up how much you work each day. Easing yourself in gently.
Research shows that small bursts are more productive than long sessions of trying to work and not feeling like you actually progressed. Changing habits can help with time spent trying to focus. Try to use a timetable to have a cut off time and a block of time that is a break. Self care is forcing yourself to know when to stop.
Make a list of the things that help you switch off and relax, and build them into your schedule. Invest a bit of time into this planning and it can transform your work and daily routine.
If you're struggling to focus, you can still spend your time productively, e.g.
"Morning pages" can serve as a reset. Every morning, writing down everything in your head.
Figure out a sleep pattern. What works naturally for you? If it's sleeping later, and getting up later. Or the reverse. Find what works, and stick to it.
Time Management Tips:
Calm, Headspace, Forrest, 7-Minute workouts (for me, I would use Ring Fit.) The original vent padlet here.