Defeating Academic Burnout

Tianna Hunt, Fica Shayndel
Published on
October 23, 2021

Defeating academic burnout

As schools reopen, we may find ourselves pulling all-nighters and studying tirelessly. Though this may be helpful to some, it might cause others to feel stressed and fatigued. Some students may also feel pressured to perform well. We let grades equate to self-worth, and we forget to prioritize our mental health and well-being. By repeating this unhealthy process, we may become exhausted with school, or to put it simply, burnt out.

According to a Healthline article, over 70% of students who participated in a 2021 survey reported feeling burnt out. This problem has always been prevalent but the number of affected students skyrocketed during the pandemic.

In this article, you will learn how to prevent and overcome academic burnout.


  • Have a good time management system

It is important to organize deadlines. Using a calendar or to-do list is a great way to keep track of tasks and the amount of time you have to complete them. A great tip is to “eat your frogs first”. This means completing the hardest tasks as early as you can or when you feel the most productive. By doing so, you will allow time to relax in between completing easier and less demanding tasks.

  • Break up large tasks into smaller ones

On the subject of tasks, it is important to understand your limits. If you have a huge project due, instead of thinking about doing it all at once, it is important to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. For example, the do history project by Friday on your to-do list could become:

  • Research the topic (Monday - 2 hours)
  • Create an essay outline or mindmap (Tuesday - 1.5 hours)
  • Write first draft (Wednesday - 1 hour)
  • Edit and refine final essay (Thursday - 30 minutes)

These are all smaller tasks that seem easier to disperse and complete. There is also extra time left in your daily schedule that can be used for other things.

  • Have a reset routine

When you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and do something nice for yourself. This can be in the form of a reset routine. Things you can do are: paint, write, read (for fun), detox from social media, get some rest, make a fun meal, do something self-care-related, and relax.


  • Rest

Sometimes the main cause of burnout is lack of sufficient sleep. Set a timer if you would like, and close your eyes. Allow your mind and body to recover from everything you have done. You are not lazy or wasting time by prioritizing your well-being. If you think you need to rest, do so. It won’t hurt.

  • Prioritize important task

Midterms may be close and assignments may be piling up. Do not feel pressured to tackle them all at once. Instead, return to tip 1 under prevention - organize your deadlines and prioritize working on the more urgent ones. If you have a biology quiz next Monday and Spanish homework due tomorrow, do your homework first. Get it out the way before delving into where the prefrontal cortex can be found. Hint: it’s at the front of the frontal lobe...I think.

  • Take breaks

This is undoubtedly the most important tip. It is probably not the best idea to study for five hours without a break. Consider researching and utilizing the Pomodoro technique or simply stopping when you feel yourself losing focus.

By using these tips, you may find it easier to maintain a balanced school life, and reduce the chance of getting burnt out. Good luck!

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