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HSC: Australian business leaders share tips for managing stress


Approx Reading Time-10With the start of exams yesterday, some of our favourite Australian business leaders have shared their top tips for managing HSC stress.


HSC exams started yesterday and in more than one Australian household the stress of the HSC is starting to take hold. So what can students do to help manage the stress of the HSC? Australian business leaders share their tips for stress management in the lead up to exams.



unspecifiedKerry Chikarovski
Former Opposition Leader and founder Chikarovski and Associates

From school to the professional world, stress factors into every part of life, and while it is easy to let stress take over during exams, there are many ways you can maintain normality and beat stress during the HSC.

For me, the best stress relief is family time, and while sitting down to a family dinner may not sound as much fun as a party, spending time with the people who make up your annoying nick-names and know your favourite meal can be a great way to keep things normal and balanced while you study.



unspecified-2Alex Louey
Appscore, co-founder and managing director

I was pretty dedicated to my studies as a student, as I’ve always been fairly ambitious. However, I think it’s important to draw a clear line between work and play. Even now I don’t have an office at home; I’d rather stay back at work late to finish something off than blur those spaces.

Hence, one of my best study tips is to give yourself a fixed study space. Draw up a reasonable timetable that accommodates for leisure, and keep your stress levels in check by interspersing bouts of work with other activities such as meditation. I’ve always believed it’s important to rationally divide up your workload and give yourself time for breaks in order to produce quality work – sacrificing on sleep to try punch something out in 48 hours just becomes really counter-productive.



unspecified-3Jonathan Horne
Hosting Australia, co-founder and managing director

Getting out in the fresh air has always been my go-to remedy when I’m tackling stress. Back when I was studying for my exams at school and uni, I’d take my car for a drive up to a lookout where I would sit underneath a big tree and just recollect my thoughts.

Now days my stress management strategy is exactly the same, only now my car is a little nicer! Whenever my workload starts to feel overwhelming, I jump in, put the windows down and go for a drive up the mountains. It helps me to get my thoughts straight; to just clear out the noise, work out the goals I need to achieve and carve out a clear plan to get me there. I think it’s important to momentarily escape from the buzz of the office and the glow of my computer screen, and to find ways to re-connect with nature.



unspecified-4Nick Bell
WME, founder and managing director

I was never the most studious type. I was ambitious and motivated to succeed, but studying was not my forte. I spent much of my final year of school working on side businesses like selling two to three lunch boxes every day! (Mum just thought I was hungry). However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t find exams stressful, or that I didn’t experience stress later in life juggling several different businesses at once.

Exercise has always been a great outlet for me. It’s just another version of setting out personal goals and proving to yourself that you can overcome any obstacles that stand in your way. I’ve always been pretty active – I often break up my work days with gym sessions – but I recently started practicing yoga as well. It’s just as much a mental game as a physical one, making it a healthy way to keep your mind stimulated and to compartmentalise your thoughts before they go into overdrive.

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  • Awesome tips from all these guys, I like how they all stress the importance of being both physically and mentally healthy. I particularly like Nick Bell’s recommendation to do exercise, and specifically yoga. Not only does yoga make you feel physically good, but it’s a great stress reliever.

    Something that would supplement all these stress-managing tips is a good sleep routine. I know that a lot of HSC students tend to stay up all night cramming for their exams. I feel like this has become a really bad habit for many people, and may be doing more harm than good. Sleep is actually really essential for learning as your brain consolidates information while you sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, that can have a severe impact on your learning capabilities. Studies show a link between sleep deprivation and poor grades amongst students.

    This is a great article because all the advice leans towards having a balanced lifestyle. Sleep is one of the most basic necessities of your health, and thus it’s absolutely essential for any positive lifestyle changes. Sleep! It’s good for you.

    – Sleep Revived