Time management – Thursday tips

Regular followers of our blog will realise this post is late !   So, in a change to the plan, let’s look at time management hints and tips …

  1. Time is a valuable resource so approach it with the same care and effort you would use to manage your money or your career.  
  2. Prioritise your activities and create a personal plan to fit in everything you need to do along with things you want to do.
  3. Break it down, turn large projects into a series of smaller tasks which are easier to manage.
  4. Be flexible, remember that your plans may change to accommodate unexpected demands or exciting new opportunities.
  5. Take a shortcut, find ways to save time using software and apps. Also learning how to use technology more effectively when you have some spare time can prevent you wasting time in future when you are under pressure to meet deadlines.  
  6. Say *no*, it’s ok to turn down requests which are neither urgent nor important. Your plan will stop you taking on more than you can achieve in the time you have available. 

As always, we have a Time Management LibGuide with more information, online tutorial and example plan.  

Mental Health Awareness week

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from 18-24 May is kindness.  

We’ve included information from the official website below.  You can find more information and resources at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week  

You can also follow the week on social media

Facebook: @mentalhealthfoundation

Twitter: @mentalhealth

Instagram: @mentalhealthfoundation

Kindness and Mental Health  

Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference.   Research suggests that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. Kindness can act as an antidote to isolation and create a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness to ourselves can boost our sense of identity and self-esteem, improving feelings of confidence and optimism.  

Here are some ideas to add a little kindness into your day.

  • Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
  • Make a meal or even just a cup of tea for someone you live with
  • Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know
  • Help with a household chore at home
  • Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call
  • Tell someone you know that you are proud of them and why you are thankful for them
  • Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
  • Send someone you know a joke or a funny picture to cheer them up
  • Send an inspirational quote or an interesting article to a friend
  • Spend a little extra time playing with your children or your pet
  • Donate your time, skills or money to a charity
  • Arrange to have a video lunch with someone 
  • Offer to skill share with a friend via video call – you could teach guitar, dance etc.
  • Offer support to vulnerable neighbours
  • Offer to send someone a takeaway or a meal

Please remember that there are also University resources and trained staff to help you with mental health issues, find out more on our Student & Library Support update.

National Walking Month

National Walking Month ideas
Suggestions from Living Streets for National Walking Month in May 2020

We’re half way through May which is National Walking Month.  As the weather seems to be improving and many of us are getting outside more often we thought we’d share some walking inspiration from Living Streets.  

They have a great website of ideas to help everyone get active, including suggestions for indoor walking!  Why not try some of them this weekend.  Taking proper breaks is essential for physical and mental wellbeing, especially if you are working towards deadlines or coping with stressful situations.  Getting outside, looking at the natural world, or simply moving around indoors can all help to release tension and give you a different perspective.  And if you need some immediate inspiration why not try a spot of birdwatching, find out more on the Living Streets blog.

Have a happy Friday everyone! 

 

Referencing- Last minute checks!

We get a lot of referencing questions through our Learning Hub and in tutorials.  Unsurprisingly, recent enquiries have included more examples of online resources. So here are some quick  Thursday tips for those of you working hard to finish assignments.  

Cite Them Right

Don’t forget that you have online access to Cite Them Right. You can find guidance and examples by searching for the type of resource, for example ‘website’, ‘ebook’ or ‘journal article’.  Just follow the link from the Library website and log in using your University details.

 

How do I reference information on a website which doesn’t have an author?

Firstly  make sure you are satisfied the information is reliable, accurate and legitimate.  Then you need to include enough information to enable your reader to find your source, including a link and the date you accessed the material.

For example, where the page belongs to an organisation, institution or company you would follow the format below for a Harvard style reference:

  • Organisation
  • Year that the site was published/last updated (in round brackets)
  • Title of web page (in italics)
  • Available at: URL (Accessed: date)

This means that a Harvard reference to the BBC News page would look like this:

BBC (2020) News. Available at:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news  (Accessed: 14 May 2020)  

The Accessed date is the day you last accessed the website. This is important because online information is frequently updated so you need to tell your reader when you viewed it.

And if the website has no author, organisation or title?  In that case you would follow this format in Harvard:

  • URL
  • Year that the site was published/last updated (in round brackets)
  • (Accessed: date)

 

What about ebooks?

Happily, if the ebook includes all the information you would find in a print copy, such as publisher and place of publication, you can follow the same format as a print book.

If you do not have publisher and location details you should include enough information to direct your reader to the source you used.  In Harvard style, this would be:

  • Author/editor
  • Year of publication (in round brackets)
  • Title of book (in italics)
  • DOI or Available at: URL (Accessed: date)

For example:

Adams, D. (1979) The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-ebooks (Accessed: 29 January 2020).

 

Where can I get more help?

You can find information, more examples and online tutorials on our Referencing LibGuide

You can send questions direct to our Learning Hub on Teams using this address:

f0ba5474.liveteesac.onmicrosoft.com@emea.teams.ms 

Or you can book a virtual tutorial with your academic librarians, just follow the links on our Tutorial booking page

 

 

Reflection

This is a key life skill.  You’re often asked to include reflective elements in your academic work, and it can be hugely beneficial in your personal or professional life.

But what is it?

Well, imagine a virtual mirror which you can use to look at a particular aspect of yourself.  So instead of gazing lovingly at your own face you would focus on your experiences, skills and knowledge.  And, just as you would do in the bathroom mirror, you’re looking to see what has changed, what you like and which bits you would improve.  

There are many ways you can use reflective thinking to develop your academic ability and personal effectiveness.

Here are some quick examples to get you going:

  • look back on your last assignment and consider how you approached it. Did you give yourself enough time or rush through it, were you happy with the results and what would you do differently?
  • think about a placement or work situation and whether you were able to put theories into practice. What did you learn from your experience, what were the limitations, how did you contribute and how can you apply this learning in the future?
  • consider the skills and knowledge you have developed over the last year. How have you improved and what do you still need to work on, think about your ‘highs and lows’ and how you feel now you can look back on them, what will you change going forward?

Remember to focus on what you did, how you felt, what you learned about yourself and others, most importantly, consider how you will apply the learning in future. Find out more on our Reflective Writing LibGuide and use our Skills Audit  to help you reflect on your academic work.

Abstracts and summaries

Today we’re giving you some help with writing an abstract or a summary.  You may be asked to include an abstract as part of your assignment or provide an executive summary in a report, if that’s the case we have resources to help.  We’ve given you some hints and tips below, you can also find our online tutorial and more information on the Writing Abstracts LibGuide.

Remember! Always follow the guidelines for your assignment or project.  

Wait until last – write it when you have finished your assignment so that you have a clear idea of what to include, the key points and your conclusion.

Grab attention – use it to engage your reader, get them interested in what you have to say and why they should read it.

Less is more – be concise, provide an overview without going into lots of detail. Stick to the key points you want to make.  

What, Why, So What – include a clear outline of your topic, research aims, findings and conclusion. You may also need to include your methodology and any limitations to your research.  

Leave it out – don’t include new information which is not covered in your work; or graphs and tables; or details from your literature review.

Ask a friend – let someone else read it. Is it clear and do they want to read more? Let them read the rest of your work to see if they think it is an accurate summary.

Do it yourself – read abstracts and summaries of articles and reports as examples. What makes them interesting and how are they structured?

Don’t forget! You can book an online tutorial with Sue or Yvonne, our Learning Advisors, if you need help with your academic writing. More details on our Tutorial booking page

Friday’s Bookshelf & More Books

Following on from last Friday’s post about celebrity bookshelves and what they can tell us about the person, we had a suggestion from Mark in our team.

He sent this image which we thought might inspire you to create your own bookshelf story. You can share it with us on social media @TeesUniLib

And, if you prefer ebooks, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can make suggestions for us to buy them through our More Books scheme. We add over 8000 books to our stock each year but if you have ideas for extra titles you can send them through our  More Books LibGuide

Navigating the infodemic – analysis and resources

Information Overload

We know that the virtual world is now full of competing analysis and experts so it is more important than ever that you evaluate information and sources. The good news is that you can find help on spotting fake news and to develop your critical thinking skills.

We have updated our Facts Matter LibGuide  which now includes this info graphic from IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations, on how to spot fake news. They have produced it in response to what has been described as the global ‘infodemic’ of inaccurate or misleading communication, find out more on the IFLA website.

One of the best approaches you can take is to focus on the most reliable and relevant sources for the information you need.  Sounds easy but it can be difficult to navigate your way through opinions, analysis and data. This is where our specialist resources can help. Many of our subscription services are providing regular subject specific updates on the wider impact of Covid 19.

Today we’re highlighting just four examples of the specialist analysis available to businesses and industry in the current situation. As a student at Teesside you have free access to these and a much wider range of resources.

Follow the link below to our Business and Management LibGuide page for more information and direct links to our four featured subscriptions

Business and Management databases

Or you can find a full list of subject specific resources on the A-Z databases list

IBISWorld offers specific industry analysis and forecasts for the UK and China. They have updated their reports to include the potential impact of Covid 19 on future performance and industry recovery.

Fitch Connect provides macroeconomic data, risk and industry research for 22 industries across 200 countries. The specialist analysis now includes regular forecasts and economic responses to Covid 19.

Mintel is a source of marketing and buying patterns based on geographic, demographic and economic data.  The database includes updated analysis on a range of industries such as travel, food, retail and leisure.

WARC provides marketing and advertising information which now includes analysis of the impact on current and future strategies across global and national markets.

And if you need help to  find or use any of our resources you can contact the academic librarians New! Ask the Learning Hub

 

 

Wednesday Wellbeing – CALM

Campaign against living miserably

Regular viewers of the Dave tv channel will recognise CALM, or the Campaign against living miserably.  Although this initiative began before the current lockdown it probably feels more relevant to lots of us at present.

Their website has helpful information on general mental wellness along with some specific updates for social distancing, gaming in isolation and online events. Take a look at the CALM website for ideas and tips.

Wondering where to start? Here are three easy ways to get going: text, talk, tweet.  

Sending a quick text message is a good first step to check on a mate, or ask for help if you feel a bit down.  Remember to talk to people regularly, don’t just rely on text messages all of the time, hearing another voice or a familiar laugh can help in stressful situations. Finally, use social media to keep in touch with your mates because it allows you to share photos and videos, but don’t get caught up in negative conversations. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others!

If you’re worried about how someone else is coping you can find ideas to start conversations and give them some support – Help a Mate

And if you do need some help, you can ring their helpline between 5pm and midnight each night or find online support. Find more information on the CALM help page

Remember that you can also access urgent support through a number of other organisations, find details on our Emergency contacts page