Life @ U of T

Introduction

How I Plan Reading Week (plus some mental break ideas)

How I Plan Reading Week (plus some mental break ideas)

Happy Reading Week everyone!

Now that the well-anticipated break is finally here, I’m trying my best to plan how my week will go. If you’re like me, you’re struggling to find the balance of taking actual breaks while also catching up on work.

And the trickiest part is balance. I want to feel relaxed, but I also know I’d feel relaxed if I tried to do some catching up.

So here are a few tips to (hopefully) keep me in track for this week!

First, I make a list of everything I want to do, both in terms of breaks and schoolwork. I used to just make lists of schoolwork and that method made me prioritize only school.

For breaks, write down every show/movie you want to try, every friend you want to call, etc. If you can schedule these things for a certain afternoon or evening, that’s even better!

  • Ie. Movie with friends (Tuesday at 2pm… I’ll give myself 3 hours for this since we’ll inevitably talk too)

For each course, list every reading, lecture, project

Beside each task, write how long you think it may take (be generous when you do this! Giving myself time for breaks while I take the task so if I start a bit late I won’t feel behind on anything)

  • Ie. ENG289:
  • Reading (0.5 hours)
  • Lecture from last week (1 hour)
  • Revise portfolio (3 hours throughout the week)

If it helps, try and prioritize which tasks you really do want done and what you will be ok with having not done when the week has ended!

I think everyone can agree we have these huge lists of what we want done only for Sunday to arrive as quickly as 2020 has passed.

Secondly, I transfer all of these tasks into a weekly calendar where I can visualize my week.

I leave a lot of blank spaces in between tasks and separate my school tasks and breaks throughout the week.

There are a few different ways to do this!

Personally, I create this illusion in my schedule, where the dense catching-up work is in the beginning of the week and the tasks peter out as the week continues. This way, I feel like the later days are safety nets for the tasks I couldn’t get done.

My schedule is far from perfect or precise, but it helps me visualize at least a list of what needs to get done and how long it will take.

Weekly calendar with schedule

Lastly, once I’ve set out my list of goals for school the only change I’ll allow myself to make is to minimize them instead of increasing them. If anything, I keep adding to my list of breaks (stationary shopping, Silence of the Lambs with my dad, baking, game nights with cousins).

I hope you all have an amazing reading week!

You deserve a rest, and I wanted to sign off with a few mental health break ideas for you (these ideas are from @selfcareisajourney on Instagram)!

  • Pop on your favourite playlist (if you need some physical rest, lie down, or if you need some physical movement, dance along)
  • Take those naps y’all (especially the rogue naps where you don’t have alarms on)
  • Say no if you start to feel overwhelmed! Whether it’s fun plans with others or study plans with yourself, it’s ok to take a complete break too
  • Start your night routine just a bit earlier and try to get some extra rest! Also, sleep in!
  • Make your favourite coffee or tea drink!
  • Sit out in the sun

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