How to be busy, not stressed.

Busyness is ‘normal’ for a lot of people these days. We all know that due to things like technological advances and internet accessibility, people work longer hours and fit more and more into the same 24 hours a day. As a Ph.D. student I am no exception. Call me strange but I actually enjoy my diary to be full (see the pictures). However, although busy may be the new normal for many, stress shouldn’t be. So how can you be busy and not stressed when the two words may as well be poecilonyms?
This topic is particularly important to me as I know that my days are only going to get busier the further into my Ph.D. I get, and then even more so after its completion. I understand that it will be essential that I continue follow my own tips and minimise my stress throughout my career.


So, here are my tips:
My diary is my BFF- I love my diary. I used to have a diary because I thought that is what uni students had, I did not actually need it to plan out my time. However, since starting a Ph.D. my diary is a necessity. For a full overview of what is in my diary click here:
Make lists- Make to do-lists often! It is the best way to ensure you are not forgetting anything important, which if forgotten would cause you stress.
Be busy with fun things too– My diary is not only filled up with meetings, deadlines and to-do lists, but also many fun things as well. I always ensure that my busyness is at least 15% fun things.
Be selfish- It is okay to be selfish with your time. In the end we all have a limited amount of time and you should not spend it all on work related things. If you work hard and efficiently, there will always be time for you to be selfish. Have that extra hour sleep in, go out for lunch or completely shut down that email for a weekend.
You cannot just wait until the job is done- Never fall into the trap of saying “I will have a day for myself when this task is done”, even though that task will get done, there will be another 10 to do after that. You will keep having a task to complete forever. Give yourself that break when you need it.
Self care- As I have said before, you only have one you. Therefore self-care is essential. Self-care is particularly important as some stress is inevitable, so when it arises you need to look after yourself. Click here for my self-care routine
Be passionate- As I said most people are going to be busy, that is something that is out of control for a lot of people. However, if you are passionate about your study, work and/or research interests, you will be happier to be busy.

Leave a Reply