Four Apps No Student Should Live Without!

Whether you are studying at home or abroad, here are four apps guaranteed to make your time studying more efficient and most importantly, happier!

  1. Breathe2Relax

Ever missed a lecture or event due to feelings of stress or anxiety? Then you should download ‘Breathe2Relax’, the highly rated and free, stress management app!

The app itself teaches Diaphragmatic breathing, teaching the user to take slow and deliberate breathes, which in turn reduces stress increase and the risk of hyperventilating. This act of focused and controlled breathing when we begin to have feelings of anxiety or panic can significantly increase the calming response, as well as stimulating the vagus nerve, reducing heart rate and blood pressure.

  1. Finish

Designed to help students stop procrastinating, Finish is the ultimate anti-procrastination app! Finish lets the user prioritise upcoming tasks into short, medium and long term categories and off of those prioritisations, reminds the user that they must complete tasks based on the various time limits set! If you have a lot of work in front of you and are struggling to work out a system in order to prioritise your tasks, download Finish for free and take control of the work ahead!

  1. Couple App

Studying away from home and missing your significant other? The couple app might not be able to physically bring them to you (sadly!) but with features such as Thumb Kiss, the ability to draw together in real time and share nightlife locations for when they next visit, being away from your number 1 might be that bit more bearable!

  1. Change4Life Be Food Smart

While undertaking a degree it can be all too easy to reach for the takeaway menu on more than just the odd occasion! It makes sense that if we eat badly, we feel bad, but you don’t want to let being a sugar filled, lethargic zombie have a negative affect your final result! With the Change4Life Be Food Smart App, simply scan the barcode of a product and find out what’s inside! The app also sends the user useful tips for recipes, tips and tools, in order to keep you healthy!

We certainly hope these apps are useful while you are studying and thank you for reading!

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Dr Juliette Wilson’s Time Management Tips!

Winner of ‘Best Paper in Networks and Innovation’ 2016 and lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, Juliette Wilson is no stranger to lengthy to do lists or writing long papers and is someone who knows all to well, the benefits of proper time management.

 

Juliette was kind enough to give us her top tips for managing your workload, so if you’re feeling swamped by deadlines for electives or struggling to start work on your dissertation please read below!

Time Management: Top Tips

1. Be realistic: do not set yourself impossible goals. You still have to eat, sleep, get some fresh air and exercise as well as work!

2. To do lists: these can be a great way to keep you on track but can also become a way of making you feel guilty and giving up on everything (see point 1!). Never have more than 5 things on your list and have them in priority order. Make them short term I.e. Either things to do by the end of the day or the end of the week.

3. Start with your end goal and then work backwards to allocate your time to tasks. This is particularly useful for large projects where you need to break them down into bite-sized bits of work. For example, for your dissertation start with the hand in date. Bring that forward by a week. Then work out what that means in terms of when each chapter needs to be completed and data collected.

4. Try and avoid distractions: social media and email are a terrible distraction. Try to put your phone away when you are trying to work. Likewise give yourselves certain times in the day when you will answer emails etc. (I realise this advice will probably be ignored). Try and go on a digital detox for one day a week and just see how much stuff you can get done!

Thank you for reading and a big thank you to Juliette for contributing! We hope you find these tips useful with your next piece of work!

Fighting Resistance!

“It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.” says Steven Pressfield, author of ‘The War of Art’. Resistance is the name given to the excuses we make, lies we tell ourselves and the reasons we conjure up to put off our work, promising ourselves we will start tomorrow, only to repeat the same lie the very next day.

Finding comfort in blaming what Pat Riley, former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers referred to as ‘Peripheral Opponents’, instead of starting our work we pass the blame onto spouses, jobs, bosses and any other external force which we can claim is hindering our ability to make a start on the work in front of us. All too often while busy passing the blame, we fail to realize that resistance is a force coming from within.

Although taking many forms, resistance comes to most of us in the form of procrastination. As Pressfield said, “We don’t tell ourselves, I’m never going to write my symphony. Instead we say, I’m going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow”. Something I’m sure anyone who has ever sat down to start an essay can relate to!

When British playwright Somerset Maugham was asked if he wrote only when inspiration struck he agreed and said “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp!” Although upon reading this most of us would think “Good for him but I can’t just make myself feel inspired!” Maugham went on to reveal the secret, that by actually sitting down and making a start on our work, we set in motion a mysterious set of events that, as if by magic, begin to produce inspiration!

As obvious as it may sound, ‘The War of Art’ teaches us that the only sure fire way of beating the resistance we feel is to fight through the urges to put off our work yet again, sit down (as mundane as that sounds!) and make a start. If no matter what, every day, at the same time and for the same duration, we sit down and chip away at the work set in front of us, then we can move away from thinking like an amateur and begin to adopt the mindset of a pro. Resistance will not be beaten easily, if ever, and we must patiently fight against it every day anew, to ensure our work is complete!

As retired U.S Marine and Author, Jocko Willink says, Discipline equals freedom!

Thank you for reading.

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Your Extra Ten Minutes.

As you get older any excuse for lateness starts to wear thin and as an apparently responsible adult, the ability to blame a third party for your lack of punctuality simply does not cut it.

Late, no matter if five minutes or an hour is obviously late and failing to arrive on time could be the difference between making the right impression with your dream employer or managing to turn your dissertation in on time.

If you’re someone who finds it impossible to arrive on time or meet deadlines, try setting every clock you will use this week, (wrist, phone, and computer) ten minutes fast.  This way on Monday, even when you still find yourself arriving at five past, you’ll have actually managed to arrive five minutes early!

You may never be able to make yourself arrive when you’re supposed to, but with this tip, you can hopefully trick yourself into it!

Be sure to check back on Tuesday when we will discuss resistance, how it affects your work and how it can be overcome!

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Thank you for reading.