Organize Yourself to Go From Leisure to Study Without Suffering

School Girl with Book in front of natural rustic red brick background holding book up to her face

How to get down to personal work despite the incredible offer of leisure activities made to students? And how to study efficiently while staying focused?

Organizing yourself to switch from leisure to study without suffering

“For me, this is the most challenging part: fitting work in the middle of my leisure time and keeping enough time to do it”… The answer is always the same at the end of high school, university, or business schools. When asked about the organizational difficulties they face, most students cite a lack of time.

Or rather, the lack of time to work when faced with the incredible offer of leisure activities at their disposal. Social networks, projects, outings, video games, series, competitions. For some, personal work is reduced to a minimum. For others, it is a sleep that suffers because they go to bed later and later. For others still, who are adept at the last minute, delays accumulate, and stress grows.

Organizational keys to studying more efficiently and with less stress

Do you recognize yourself a little? A lot? Or not at all because you may be a very hard-working student. But who would like to have more time to relax?

The good news is that you can all improve your student life with a few organizational keys. I know what it’s like. Even though I’ve been working as a content creator for quite some time now, it can still be hard for me to go from rest to work or study. Yes, I’m still continuing to learn and develop, so here’s my paper writer free advice for you.

By putting into practice some time management and methodology techniques (for concentration or memory), you can indeed switch from leisure mode to work mode in a more agile way and with less time wasted. This allows you to work more efficiently and to keep time for leisure. 

1. Take a step back and make a plan

Making a plan is essential to take back control of your time. Without a schedule, you let yourself be carried along by the current. You go to class, and you take what comes. You work when the opportunity arises. In short, you sail by sight, hardly caring about tomorrow, which can make you drift insensitively and lose your course.

On the other hand, a weekly schedule allows you to set aside time each week for personal work systematically. It also allows you to keep judiciously placed time slots for leisure activities, sports that you want to practice regularly, and rest (especially sleep). In short: it allows you to do the work that is essential to your studies and to keep a balanced life.

This weekly schedule can and should be adapted to variations in your workload and your schedule: when some courses stop before exams, you should plan your revisions. If your grades are slipping, you may need to add a few more sessions. If you are exhausted, make sure you get more sleep.

Anticipation is probably the best way to study without stress.

In addition to the weekly schedule, take a step back by looking at all the deadlines for the month and quarter. Do you have a big assignment, a report, an important deadline? Instead of burying your head in the sand and waiting until the last minute, do a “retro-planning”: go back in time by planning a step each week to complete the assignment.

This way, you will overcome difficulties step by step, go deeper, and give better quality work. This anticipation is undoubtedly one of the best ways to study without stress and gain confidence!

What if I don’t keep my schedule?

First of all, make a schedule that is realistic and within your reach. Don’t be too ambitious when you get to work: make a precise schedule with a list of tasks that can be done in the time you have.

For example, if you have two hours and plan to “do your internship report,” you might get discouraged in advance by this huge task and put it off until tomorrow. It would be better to plan to review your internship notes or think about the plan.

So adapt your schedules, test them, but above all, don’t give up making them: in fact, framing your time helps you get into a rhythm of work. The schedule – especially if it is weekly – allows you to create automatisms. If you do English every Monday at 6:00 p.m., you’ll get the hang of it, and it will be less and less difficult to get started.

Starting work at the same time every day is also excellent for creating a routine, a ritual. When that time comes, your brain starts to work mode, and you are less tempted to procrastinate.

2. Put your laptop on silent when you come back from class

For many students, it is not easy after a day of classes to dive right back into their books. It is entirely legitimate to relax a little, but beware of “addictive” activities that will absorb you for one, two, or three hours and make getting back to work more and more painful.

The temptation is strong to dive on your phone where your notifications and your numerous messages are waiting. But social networks have the art of captivating us for much longer than we thought at first.

In addition to setting a specific time on your schedule to get to work, get into the habit of putting the tempting cell phone away by putting it on silent or airplane mode from the outset or by placing it out of your sight when you get home. It will, of course, be time to pick it up again later in the evening, but after work and not before.

3. Work more regularly to be more efficient

You’ve been told this for years, and you must admit that you don’t take it into account. Yet regularity contributes very concretely to success. It spreads out the effort over time, making it less painful, and above all, more rewarding.

First, there is the powerful effect of regular work on long-term memory. Learning your course at the last moment, just before the test, can certainly be enough to pass the exam. But not to assimilate the knowledge deeply. One month later, without revisions, you have forgotten everything! Seven days after a lesson, only 10 to 20% of the content remains in your memory (figures corroborated by numerous studies).

But if you learn quickly enough after the lesson, then revise 7 days later, then a month later, the knowledge “enters” you and stays there! In any case, the revisions are easier and easier, less and less long. And inevitably, you also progress in your understanding and analysis. You are more interested, more motivated by the courses because you follow better.

Indeed, poor results and the impression of being “left behind” often accentuate the difficulty of getting down to work: studies raise so many negative emotions that one flees into leisure activities to find some consolation. On the contrary, it is necessary to put some positive energy into work thanks to success’s regularity. Do you understand?

4. Learn to say no to avoid spreading yourself too thin

You may have made a beautiful schedule but never keep it because of numerous requests that constantly divert you from the “right path.”

Are you coming for a beer? Are you going out tonight? Could you come and help me move? Hello, Caro, are you free? etc, etc. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make you slip up and lose your rhythm.

Think about the hobbies and leisure activities that are important to you, and choose those that are compatible with your situation and your time… then decide to say no to anything that doesn’t fit into your “relaxation” slots and risks throwing you off balance, just as you need a certain level of perspective to make a good schedule.

If you don’t know how to say no, you risk spreading yourself thin, getting tired, and finding yourself struggling with your schoolwork or experiencing creeping stress. But if you keep your priorities in check, you’ll be able to chart your course and keep your spirits up and in shape more quickly.

5. Improve your concentration so that you don’t slack off on your studies

Another source of time loss can come from a lack of concentration during work. You take six hours to do an assignment that should take two. You reread a text ten times without printing anything. You yawn at your paper while daydreaming and thinking about your next trip.

If this is your case, not only are you wasting precious time, but you are also discouraging yourself because your work is not efficient (so what’s the point?). To become more efficient, you need to strengthen your concentration by defining your work time and your objectives:

  • Always set a start time and an end time when you work, as if you were doing a time-limited workout
  • Don’t work on the same subject for too long without taking a break
  • As soon as you feel your attention waver, take a short break: go for a coffee, take a few steps, breathe, drink. Just avoid diving into your Facebook feed or your messages to prolong the break beyond 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Alternate real work time with short breaks
  • If necessary, vary the exercises or subjects as this stimulates attention and interest.
  • Always set a specific work schedule when you start work to focus on one thing and don’t lose focus.
  • Cross off completed tasks: this encourages you, as it measures your progress and stimulates you to continue.
  • Your personal work sessions have a beginning and an end. Little by little, you work more rigorously, more vigorously. You have less trouble getting started because you are no longer working “in a vacuum” but gradually tackling the tasks at hand. “Ah, I’ve done a good job!” You feel the satisfaction of duty done.

Like the athlete, the more you work, the more you get stronger

You can then relax without remorse or guilt. Going from work to peace, from bed to office, from classroom to bedroom, outside to inside, becomes fast, fluid, easy, and pleasant.

This student’s gymnastics reminds a bit of the sportsman’s or athlete’s gymnastics: the more you practice, the more you muscle-up. As a result, performance improves, and you run in training. But if you stop practicing for two months, it is very, very painful to start again.

In your student life, you need to build up your motivation by looking for efficiency. This requires a precise organization of time and personal work. Put these few keys into practice, and the tension you feel between leisure and study will fade away because you will have learned to do the right things at the right time.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.