Going from a full or part time schedule at university, to completing our deadlines and coursework at home, can be a real struggle, especially when there isn’t a regular routine or timetable. I have definitely found it very odd adapting over the first couple of weeks.
During my time in lockdown, I’ve thought about what’s worked to keep me motivated and I have spoken openly about this on my instagram!
If you are still struggling with the change, or just want to see my top tips on organising your days, read on!
It’s important to make your own timetable to keep on top of coursework, deadlines and assignments – this might mean putting aside a set number of hours or shorter sessions to finish a certain task.
One method that you can use is a priority list where you write down your ‘Top 3 priorities’ for the day. This helps split your day into three parts and gets you to focus on three main goals.
I also give myself bonus tasks – these are a few extra goals that I could get done if I have enough time. These tasks are what they sound like – a BONUS, they are non-essential and it doesn’t matter if they don’t get completed.
You can tick these off once you have done them and know you have been productive. Who doesn’t love a satisfying tick!
I don’t use them on the weekend, to make sure I have a clear break from the week and the weekend – otherwise I feel like the week merges into one big blob!
If you want to see more of this and examples, head to my instagram where I post them daily during the week! There is also an IGTV about Priority Lists going live on my instagram on the 07.05.20.
Find yourself a study space
As well as managing your time it’s also essential you find yourself a study space where you feel comfortable enough to work.
Having the right environment when you study can be a contributing factor to your focus levels and overall quality of your work. So try to find somewhere that has minimal distractions, where you can concentrate and be calm – you may want to turn off notification or turn your phone on silent if you get distracted by this, I know I will end up in a spiral of Snapchat, TikTok and pointless slime videos!
Study Space ideas:
- Desk in bedroom
- In a study/office if you have one
- In the garden if it’s nice weather outside
- Dining room
Take care of yourself
Of course, we have all of this new-found time for studying and dedicating ourselves to our degree but remember to look after yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to work 24/7, be realistic and think about what you would be doing if you were actually in university. This is why priority lists have worked for me, as they split the day up for me.
Remember to take breaks! Taking breaks is actually healthy and allows your brain not to be over-loaded with information or stress – it’s been proven that sometimes shorter bursts of work can be more productive than longer periods of time. On your breaks, try and go outside for a breath of fresh air or stretch out, remembering to follow government guidelines when you do. I definitely feel so much better when I have had sometime outside!
Pamper and treat yourself, it’s a bit of a stressful time so don’t be so hard on yourself! I try to do this once a week, usually a Sunday which I call a ‘Self-care Sunday’!
Stay connected and reach out if you need help
If you find yourself in the position where you do need some pointers or there are things that you just don’t understand, reach out to your lecturers or managers if you are stuck. There is no harm in asking a question.
If it’s something to do with a course or class that you are still completing, message course mates with queries and check your module handbooks, the answers may be there – that’s where I have tied up loose ends where I have been confused.
Even mentally, its good to stay connected with friends and family, so on your breaks this is something you could do over video chat.
Even though lockdown is daunting, it won’t last forever. Just try focus on your health and work hard and you will get where you want to be.
At the moment everything is uncertain and we are having to find our new normals, but that’s just how it is. Stay positive and stay safe.