It is always helpful to get an idea of what you could be doing in your day to day when starting something new. While what I tend to do varies week by week and day by day, there are some foundations that are generally the same, and make sure that I have a good balance between doing work and free time.
I consider myself lucky because I don’t have any tasks to do too early in the morning, the earliest I have classes is around 10am. This gives me time in the morning to myself, so I’ll usually read (for fun) and workout as I think this is an important part of maintaining a work/life balance. Working out is also especially helpful during online learning, as most of the day tends to be spent sitting down.
After getting ready for the day, I begin reading for my lectures and tutorials which takes up the majority of my time. My main priority is getting the essential reading done, so I’ll leave any further reading to the end of the day/week if I have enough time to get to it without compromising my main tasks for the day. A good method I use to stay engaged with my work is the Pomodoro method, where you work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break (or 50 minutes with a 10-minute break). Another, more niche tip is to film time lapses of yourself working; this is really motivating to watch as you can see how much progress you made during your study session.
As a law student, I don’t have a lot of contact hours, so a lot of time is spent doing independent study. Recently, I have started doing online study sessions with my friends via Zoom so I can stay motivated and we can stay connected during these times. I’d highly recommend this for anyone who tends to get distracted, doing these study sessions has definitely improved my productivity!
Around midday, I have my lunch and take a break, I’ll go on social media and watch some YouTube videos to start working again. As I don’t have many contact hours, I have a lot of time to do things that I enjoy or leisurely tasks, so I take advantage of that.
This is the average time I start my lecture for the day after reading in the morning, which takes anywhere from one hour to two depending on how long the lecture is and how much I understand the topic.
After finishing my work for the day, I like to reflect on what I’ve done and see what I have to do for the next day. I don’t usually work in the evenings unless I didn’t get a lot done during the day, but my general rule is to have a section of the day where I don’t do any work at all, which I divide into: morning, afternoon and evening.
Since joining university, I have dedicated a lot of time to extra-curricular events, so in the evenings I attend events or socials being held by one of the societies, such as Commercial Affairs or African and Caribbean Society, so I can interact with other students and learn something new.
Adapting to doing work from home has been a challenge, but making some small, daily habits makes it a lot easier, along with staying connected with your friends.
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