Last school year was a difficult one; trying to learn and study from my bedroom was not easy to do, and I found myself procrastinating and a lot more stressed than normal. Granted, we were in the middle of a global pandemic; I think I learned a thing or two about time management and how to get things done without experiencing burnout.
Plan things in advance!
I think if I could go back in time, I would have planned things farther in advance. It’s easy to push things until the last minute, but it’s never a fun process trying to finish a paper the night before it’s due. Once you know about a project, plan out a timeframe and try your best to stick to it. Working on something for 20-30 minutes every day is better than scrambling at the last possible moment to put something together.
If you need some tools to help you organize, I like using Notion! It’s pretty easy to use, and it’s customizable as well!
Check out Notion here: https://www.notion.so
Have some time for yourself
Sometimes I felt like if I was taking an hour or two to myself, I was being “lazy” or I wouldn’t get as much work done if I took a few breaks. I quickly realized that having short breaks when I studied was beneficial and helped me study more, rather than less. It gives your brain a moment to pause and retain what you’ve just taken in, and sometimes having a break is just necessary when you study for hours each day. You always deserve a break when you work hard, so remember to plan for that as well!
Another tool I love to use for time management is Pomofocus. It follows the pomodoro method of working using short but frequent breaks that promote longer and sustained concentration. This method is excellent for people who find themselves distracted often or people who work for too long, to the point where they are no longer being productive.
It’s also so important to have at least one day free of any schoolwork. Having a day to relax, to see friends or just to catch up on well needed rest is imperative. There’s no need to do anything productive on this day, just take it easy and enjoy some time with yourself.
Try out Pomofocus here: https://pomofocus.io
Set Goals (Realistic Goals)
I’ve always set goals for myself, but I think last year I really began to set realistic goals for myself. The difference between setting goals and setting realistic goals is that when you set a goal that you know you may not achieve, it feels like you failed. When you set realistic goals, they are much easier to attain, and you can be proud of yourself for achieving those goals. Setting smaller and realistic goals is the best way to go about goal setting, and even breaking down your larger goals into smaller ones you’ll cross off along the way can help you stay on track and organized.
I found myself a lot more tired and irritable when I wasn’t active during the school year. Spending hours sitting at a desk is not ideal for the body, and the great thing about staying active is that there are so many ways to do it, you just have to find an activity you enjoy! Whether it’s going for a walk, yoga, or going to the gym, anything that will get your body moving and your blood flowing is going to be great.
Staying active is also crucial for our mental health, and I noticed a positive change with my mood when I stayed active compared to the few weeks at a time where I wasn’t.
Remember this school year to work smarter rather than work harder, to plan out your time, set attainable goals and to keep active! A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind!