Stressed about your diss? Here are five easy ways to avoid burnout

Work smarter, not harder

It’s officially dissertation season. For final years, the long process of writing the dreaded diss will seemingly take over your life. Instead of the endless Wednesday nights in Crisis, you’ll probably be stuck in Hallward or George Green.

Whilst it is important to put in the time and effort to achieve the best grade you can, it’s essential that you work smarter not harder to avoid burnout. Here are the 5 best and easiest ways to stay clear of that dreaded burnout whilst writing your dissertation.

1. Keep up with your extracurriculars

Taking time for yourself is so important whilst trying to finish such a big assignment like a dissertation. Don’t let it take control of your life and continue with the things that you enjoy outside of academia. From society meet ups, going to the gym or even a walk around Highfields – maybe even Wollaton, get yourself out of the library and out your house.

Give yourself a break with the hobbies that you love and you might find yourself able to take a moment to de-stress and avoid any unwanted breakdowns.

just hope that it’s a sunny day

2. Use concentration apps

Your phone might not be your best friend when it comes to being a distraction, but there are ways that it can help you. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Forest which attempts to force you to stay off your phone for a few hours whilst you get on with some work. It allows you to set a timer and if you exit the app during this time, you’ll kill the tree you’re growing. Why don’t you get productive, stay off your phone and watch as your virtual ‘forest’ grows.

There are also some other apps such as Cold Turkey, Clockify and Tide, which all incorporate the same principle and attempt to boost your productivity.

Download these apps, get rid of any unwanted distractions and watch your productivity increase, all the while avoiding a breakdown.

3. Plan your work

Planning might seem like such a basic step in avoiding a crisis but it is such a lifesaver. When making a plan, work backwards from your deadline and base the plan around when you have to complete each individual component of your dissertation. Spreading the workload out reasonably will allow you to make sure it is all completed in time and will also ensure that you avoid burning out before it’s completed.

There’s nothing worse than getting to the point where the workload seems unmanageable and overwhelming, if you plan enough then you might be able to avoid this.

4. Reward yourself

Once you have a plan and a strategy to get your diss done, you need to motivate yourself to follow it through. Giving yourself incentives for finishing each task, no matter how small, will help not only your motivation but also your mental health.

Rewards could be anything from ordering your favourite takeout, to a simple facemask and movie night with your housemates. Why not book a weekend away for when it’s finally finished to celebrate?

Plan things to look forward to and motivate yourself to get the job done.

5. Give yourself breaks

Mental health is so important, especially at a time like this. A dissertation is a large part of your final grade and you can only produce high-quality work with a good state of mind. Give yourself breaks and allow yourself to completely unwind after a hard day of uni work.

Even though staying on top of your work is important, you should try and build in time for yourself – don’t let the diss take over your life. Having the occasional Friday in Ocean, or coffee date in town with your friends at the weekend won’t hurt.

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