Life @ U of T


How I Create Boundaries Between Studying and Breaks!

How I Create Boundaries Between Studying and Breaks!

"How I Create Boundaries Between Studying and Breaks!" table of contents

  1. How I Create Boundaries Between Studying and Breaks!
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With online schooling, studying and social time has just become a constant blur. Just yesterday I was studying for my midterm and was constantly distracted by the quicksand of texts and social media. What may be most difficult about effectively managing my time is that when I’m either studying or with friends, I feel like I should be doing the other. And the mix between the two, when studying turns into extended social time, I feel so sidetracked from my schedule.

So here are a few tricks!

1. .AHHHH (Studying Mindset, away from procrastination)

Maybe it’s just me but sometimes when I try to study during times I want to be doing something else (ie watching Netflix), I won’t do either and simply won’t get anything done. I saw somewhere that going into a task with a perfectionist mindset makes you procrastinate because you don’t want to start if it’s not perfect right away. So, it’s better to do it terribly than to not do it at all. I’ve started to take this on, and afterwards, I’ll find myself either: in momentum and continue studying or, if I lose focus after 5 intentionally-mediocre minutes of work at least I can look at it later and have something already started.

Edit: this is what my screen looks like as I’m writing the post!

2. Pomofocus/Focus Tomato

Sometimes with friends one of us will screen-share a 25/30 minute timer on Pomofocus and work until we get to a 5-minute break! This one works well because the extra pressure of other people working with you can be really motivating.

Focus Tomato is the same method as Pomofocus, but I use this when I’m working independently. The bonus is that when I get tempted to reach for my phone I’ll see the timer and try to refocus.

3. Schedule

So this one’s obvious, but I bring it up because the LAYERS to scheduling? Kind of cool!

a. I like to rely on a little Muji Calendar where I write out all the tasks I want to get done for the day, normally prioritizing the first tasks listed. When I finish one, I’ll scratch them out for that cathartic feeling!

b. I use my laptop’s calendar that has my class schedule and designated study times (which some days are accurate and others it becomes a rough guide). This is useful to have set times for when I want to complete tasks!

c. I have a semester wall calendar that has all the due dates for assignments/tests, meetings, and events. This one is especially helpful if I don’t use the other two because I get a big picture of what my focus should be!

Am I painstakingly organizing my time? Yes! Personally, it’s not painstaking because this lets me manage my anxiety by having everything I need in front of me. I don’t have to worry about any sneaky assignments hidden within Quercus somewhere!

4. Phone away

This one is sent by a member of our Accessibility Services community group on Facebook! And I completely agree! Even… as I write this post… I have my phone out!! However, when I successfully put my phone away or have someone else take it while I need to finish a paper/reading/lecture, it’s the most effective!

5. Filming Study Sessions

I did the “filming a time-lapse of yourself studying” thing, and it weirdly worked? It made me not want to touch my phone once it was set up because the camera added pressure on me, it was really effective for motivation!

"How I Create Boundaries Between Studying and Breaks!" table of contents

  1. How I Create Boundaries Between Studying and Breaks!
  2. Page 2

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