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3 Effective Ways to Coping with High Demands In An Internship

December 01, 2023

high demands in an internship

High demands in an internship, coping with them can be challenging, but it’s also an excellent opportunity for personal and professional growth.

As we know life is hard and full of obstacles, the internship is just the beginning of your professional life, and that’s why learning to deal and manage with the challenges that it brings is the first step. 

In the following paragraphs, you’ll find 3 strategies to help you manage high demands effectively without feeling so overwhelm.

Ways to Coping with High Demands


1. Prioritize and Set Goals


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Goal setting and prioritization are steps to success when facing high demands in an internship or any challenging endeavor. Prioritizing and setting goals effectively can significantly enhance your productivity and help you manage your tasks, especially during high-demand situations like an internship.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prioritize and set goals

Identify Your Responsibilities and Tasks


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Start by creating a comprehensive list of all your responsibilities and tasks associated with your internship. Be thorough in listing everything you’re expected to do.

Categorize Your Tasks

Use a prioritization framework like the Eisenhower Matrix method to categorize your tasks. Here’s how it works:


Source: The Eisenhower Matrix: Time and Task Management Made Simple

👉​Quadrant 1 (Urgent and Important): These are tasks that require immediate attention and are critical to your internship. They should be your top priority.

👉​Quadrant 2 (Important but Not Urgent): These tasks are crucial but not time-sensitive. They should be scheduled and managed to prevent them from becoming urgent.

👉​Quadrant 3 (Urgent but Not Important): These tasks may be pressing, but they are not directly tied to your primary goals. Consider delegating or finding more efficient ways to handle them.

👉​Quadrant 4 (Neither Urgent nor Important): These tasks are low-priority and often distractions. Minimize or eliminate them whenever possible.


Once you’ve categorized and prioritized your tasks, it’s time to set clear, achievable goals

my goals

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🙃​Make your goals specific: Define precisely what you want to achieve. Vague goals are harder to work toward.

🙃​Ensure your goals are measurable: You should be able to track your progress and determine when you’ve accomplished them.

🙃​​Set achievable goals: Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable within the given time frame.

​🙃​Goals should be relevant: Ensure that your goals align with your internship objectives and overall career aspirations.

🙃​Set time-bound goals: Assign deadlines to your goals. This creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay on track.

Learn to say no

Learning to say no professionally and assertively can be challenging, especially during an internship when you may want to make a positive impression and avoid disappointing your superiors or colleagues. However, it’s a crucial skill for managing high demands and maintaining your well-being.

Here’s how to learn to say no effectively

Use Positive Language:


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When saying no, use positive and respectful language. Instead of a blunt “no,” consider phrases like 

“I’d love to help, but my current workload is quite heavy.”

“I appreciate the opportunity, but I’m currently working on [ task], which has a tight deadline.”

“I want to ensure I give my best to my current assignments, so I won’t be able to take on additional work at this time.”

Offer Alternatives:


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If possible, suggest an alternative solution that doesn’t involve you taking on the entire task. For example 

“I can’t take on the full project, but I can offer assistance and guidance to someone else who can help.”

“I can help with this task once I’ve completed my current priorities.”

Be Firm but Polite:


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Maintain a respectful and confident tone while saying no. Avoid over-apologizing or sounding overly defensive. A clear and composed response conveys your professionalism.

Time Management

Effectively managing your time during an internship, especially when facing high demands, is essential for maintaining productivity and reducing stress. Here are practical strategies to improve your time management skills

Create a Daily Schedule


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Develop a daily or weekly schedule that allocates specific time slots for tasks based on their priorities and deadlines. Be realistic about the time needed for each task.

Use Time Management Tools


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Utilize tools like to-do lists, calendars, or project management software to keep track of your tasks and deadlines. Digital tools can provide reminders and notifications to help you stay on track

Set Boundaries


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Clearly define your working hours and break times. Communicate these boundaries to your colleagues and supervisor to ensure you have dedicated time for focused work and relaxation.

Eliminate Distractions


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Identify common distractions in your workspace and take steps to minimize them. This might include turning off notifications, closing unnecessary tabs on your computer, or using noise-canceling headphones.

You can find tools to accomplish those goals on our tools page 


Remember that internships are a valuable learning experience, and it’s normal to face high demands at times. By implementing these coping strategies and maintaining a positive attitude, you can navigate the challenges of your internship more effectively and come out of it with valuable skills and experiences.

One step per time and you’ll achieve your goals.

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Elliana Marquardt Intern at VisitMind


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