Life&Style editor Tara Kergon shares some advice on how to avoid a post-graduation slumpWritten by Tara Kergon on 18th April 2018
How to Have a Productive Reading Week
Emma Curtis gives us the tips on how to make the most of your reading week while still having a well deserved rest
After what has been a very busy first semester for most of us, the realisation that reading week is just around the corner often fills us students with a sense of relief at the thought of having a week off. Regardless of what year of study you are in, a reading week feels like it should be a nice easy week of going out, seeing friends and binge watching that television series that you’ve been dying to watch for over a month. However, unfortunately, it cannot be all fun and games. There are assignments due imminently, reading to be done for the following week as well as catching up on any work you may have missed. Therefore, it is important to have a productive reading week so you return feeling re-energised and prepared for the upcoming weeks.
A weekly planner
If you don’t own a weekly planner by now, you should definitely invest in one. Specifically a weekly planner, as it will allow you to map out your week to ensure you can get everything done in time, whilst also making sure you don’t spend the entirety of reading week doing work. Firstly, you will need to write down all the things you have planned already- for example, going home to see your family or any shifts at work you may have. After having done this, you will then need to sit down and figure out what university work needs to be done and prioritise what needs to be completed first. Subsequently, you can then allocate a few tasks each day for you to complete in order to prevent yourself from having too many things to do on Sunday evening at the end of the week - something I’m sure many of us are guilty of doing sometimes! Having your week written down in front of you will allow you to know exactly what you are doing each day, therefore making sure you are using your time efficiently.
“By giving yourself time frames that are achievable, you prevent the risk of feeling frustrated when you realise you have run out of hours in the day to complete your allocated tasks
How many times have we been told about the importance of time management? As annoying as this concept may seem, unfortunately it is key to being productive- especially as a student. Getting yourself into a routine dramatically improves your productivity; for example, trying to get to sleep at a reasonable time each day so that you are able to wake up at a decent time in the morning to get started on your work. This simple step will ensure you have enough time to get your work done whilst also allowing you to have some down time later on in the day. Additionally, when allocating tasks for each day, make sure you give yourself a realistic time frame to complete that task as well as having breaks every so often. In order for you to get the most out of your studying time, breaks are extremely important – everyone’s brains need a rest sometimes! By giving yourself time frames that are achievable, you prevent the risk of feeling frustrated when you realise you have run out of hours in the day to complete your allocated tasks. As long as you are realistic, efficient and give yourself breaks, you are on track to being as productive as possible!
Find a suitable place to study
This may seem like an odd thing to include, but you will be surprised at how much of an impact your studying environment has on your productivity. Speaking from experience, trying to do work on your bed is a bad idea as it is almost inevitable that you will find yourself falling asleep with your book in your hand. Instead, study at a desk or a table that has a comfortable chair, a decent amount of light and a suitable noise level. Some people prefer a bit of background noise, in which case maybe try your local coffee shop, whereas others prefer to work in silence so may head to the library. Whatever your preference is, make sure your study space accommodates for this, as it will help with your concentration.
“Try and book up some fun activities or set aside a couple of days for doing things you want to do; whether that be going shopping, a day out in the city, going to the cinema or even just having a pamper session for yourself
Plan fun things to do
Most importantly, reading week should not just be about studying! Although it is a great opportunity to catch up on any work you may have missed or not understood, it is also a time to recharge and enjoy having some free time. Try and book up some fun activities or set aside a couple of days for doing things you want to do; whether that be going shopping, a day out in the city, going to the cinema or even just having a pamper session for yourself. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do this because not only will it make your reading week more enjoyable, it will motivate you to work efficiently in order for you to have the time to do these fun activities.
Having read these simple tips, I hope everyone has a fun, relaxing yet productive reading week! Enjoy!