If life was easy, it would probably also be boring.
Still, there are some days when you swear you would rather it be boring than have to put up with another seemingly insurmountable heap of drudgery. Even people who genuinely love their jobs have those days from time to time.
Sometimes, you don’t realise how much you’ve let things pile up. Sometimes, you get lumped with responsibilities you weren’t prepared for. Sometimes, you underestimate just how much of a challenge something is going to be when you agree to do it.
Whether you have fifty years’ experience in your belt and have been caught by surprise or you’re a student tackling your first daunting essay, the techniques that are going to get you through never change.
You get exhausted so much faster when you’re dehydrated. Keep a glass of water with you the whole time you’re working and top it up when it empties. It might not feel like you’re going to get particularly thirsty focusing on a single project, but the boost you get just from the occasional sip of water will come in surprisingly useful.
HAVE SNACKS READY
You might not get so hungry that you need a full meal, but mental exertions as much as physical ones can feel very draining over long periods of time. The healthier the snack, the better – fruit will likely give you the best bursts of energy you can put into tackling more challenging times. But, really, keeping anyone to hand to stop you from wilting too early will be helpful.
BREAK DOWN YOUR LOAD INTO MANAGEABLE TASKS
The simplest way to make a difficult task easy is to break it down into its smallest components. Before you begin, knock your end goal into smaller milestones and keep chipping away at them until they’re as small as they can possibly get. Without being ridiculous, of course – taking the lid off your pen doesn’t need to be on the list. When things are laid out in smaller steps, the whole problem looks easier to handle and you’ll even be better able to gauge how long it will take you.
INCORPORATE BREAKS INTO YOUR SCHEDULE
All the water, snacks and planning ahead in the world won’t stop you from flagging eventually. Make sure you make time for yourself just to rest and relax. It’s not a waste of time to get a breath of fresh air, stretch your legs for a moment and to let your mind clear. You only have to take five minutes if you’re really pressed for time, or you can treat yourself to a full hour if you have the luxury. Either way, giving your mind some time off will offer it some refreshment so that you’ll feel much more prepared to go at it all again afterwards.
DON’T GO TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
You wouldn’t need to worry about all these pointers if this was going to be easy. Make sure the targets you set yourself are reasonable. Reward yourself when you reach a new milestone. Don’t push yourself too far – stop before you are forced to. Above all, take it one step at a time.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.