Produced by Jess
MSc Marketing Management (Digital)
Being in my last semester of my postgraduate course means that my days aren’t what you would consider to be the normal student experience, but this is what a day in my life as a postgraduate is like. I’ll compare this to how it was different when I had taught units, my tips for staying productive, information and support available during dissertation and how I manage my time.
I wake up at 8am, this has been the same throughout my postgraduate so that I am in a routine and attended all my 9ams (when I had them). These days I tend to spend 15 minutes in bed before I actually start to get ready for the day.
Today I needed to go food shopping so that was the first task of the day and then I put some washing on. Whilst that was washing, I did some work for my job as a Residential Life Assistant. This job ties in nicely with my university timetable and I can do work when I am free, and I use it to break up my day a bit more sometimes. Then whilst my clothes were drying, I started doing dissertation work and finding research that I could add into my literature review. I find these using the library resources and google scholar. Once all the washing was finished, I continued doing my dissertation work. Today, was just dissertation work on my own but there is a supervisor for this who you can have meetings with or email if you get stuck or anything, there is also academic advisors. I’m attending workshops that BU put on to help with some elements and last semester we had dissertation lectures with the person who supervisors dissertations as a whole so really a lot of support out there.
I then took a break for lunch and afterwards put my washing away and continued with my dissertation. I like to add in little things through the day like food shopping and washing (but obviously not those two everyday) to make it feel a bit like I am achieving more and to break the day up more, so I feel more motivated to continue working on my dissertation. This is different from last semester as things were naturally broken up more with lecture times, pre-seminar work, additional reading and assignment work. Last semester I also wrote more to do lists as there was a variety of things, but at the moment I’m just trying to get my literature review done so less would be on there. Instead, I am setting myself more goals this semester to either read a certain amount of journal articles in a day or write a certain number of words in a day and I have goals for things like when I want my literature review to be done by. Again, this is different from last semester because my goal would be more like getting a certain section done.
Today I finished working on my dissertation at around 16:15pm as I had plans with my friend to go to the cinema. Normally this is a little later and I try to get everything I need to do by 5 so that I have my evenings free to either see friends, call family, chill or sometimes I have work in the evening as that’s when I run events. I also try to keep work to around 3 or 4 days a week as I don’t feel I need to work on my dissertation as much as I do when I had 3 taught units which I would work on 5 days. I then keep weekends free to do more day trips with friends like trips to the New Forest, visit nearby towns, go the beach etc.
My top tips for staying productive is
- Get up and get on with the day rather than chilling in bed for too long or watching Netflix
- Write to do lists or set goals
- Have set times to do work/be productive (Mine is typically 9am – 5pm)
- Take breaks throughout the day (although I didn’t specifically write them in, I do sometimes go on my phone for a few minutes, and I do take a set amount of time off for lunch not just prepare food and eat it then try to go back to work)
- Try and vary the work for the day for example. Try and put things in that you enjoy a little more if you’re trying to do something that you don’t like so much and don’t try to do all the reading in one day.