Hey everyone! I hope everyone has been having a productive midterm season!
While I haven’t had any exams, I just completed my first set of assignments. It’s been a wild ride! I was somewhat aware of how much work I’d have to do when I was back in school but let me tell you, the transition hasn’t been easy. Even now after two months of school, I still feel like I am trying to get back into the groove of school. All things considered, I’ve been adjusting to Kingston quite well, but I’m sure many of you can agree that sometimes the combination of schoolwork, living in a new place, and house chores can be overwhelming. Life really is a balancing act, and nothing puts that more into perspective than being a student again. So what I have for you today is 5 tips on how to stay focused and remain calm! You’ve probably heard most of these before, but sometimes we just need a reminder! Over the last few weeks, I have been going through the process of rediscovering these good habits.
- Take breaks
Sometimes you might feel like there is just not enough time to get your assignment done, and as a result, you’re trying to push yourself to work consistently for hours on end…but still getting nothing done. The best way to combat this is by making a schedule to allocate time for work while making sure to take regular breaks to freshen up your mood and clear your mind. The Pomodoro technique is used by many and can be useful in staying alert! I personally find that the Pomodoro technique is a bit rigid and hard to stick to, but I find that even following it loosely, helps me to stay focused.
- Change Your Surroundings
Even though there are so many places to study on and off-campus, it’s easy to get stuck in Stauffer or in your office. I find being in the same spot for too long can become boring, so I like to switch it up! My favourite library is the Bracken Health Sciences Library, mainly because it’s never crowded and usually quiet. It also has large windows which allow for sunlight which is also refreshing. At the Bracken library, I absolutely enjoy doing the 1000-piece puzzle during my breaks.
Besides libraries, Queen’s campus is full of small alcoves of study as well as larger cafeteria-like spaces (Mac-Corry and Queen’s Centre). In the summertime, the tables outside Goodes Hall are pretty nice too. I know some people also enjoy working in coffee shops; however, I haven’t had the chance to try any in Kingston yet
- Eating at regular times/ Sleeping Enough
A healthy body means a healthy mind. When it crunch time, it’s too easy to slip up on eating and sleeping properly, because of tight deadlines, stress, and long hours at the library. At the end of the day, this is going to lead you to a foggy mind and physical exhaustion. The best way to deal with this is by planning ahead- try to do some meal prep or at least have some healthy snacks with you, to get you through the day. Try your best to eat your daily meals at relatively regular times. Regular amounts of sleep are also really good for memory and creativity. Sometimes it just means calling it a night and getting back to it in the morning.
- Physical exercise
I’m noticing that going to the gym is just falling by the wayside as I prioritize doing schoolwork. The thing is though, that it doesn’t have to be a trade-off of one or the other. A little bit of scheduling, study time and gym time, can ensure you actually go to the gym. Additionally, it’s beneficial to have a gym buddy so you can hold each other accountable. Finally, if it’s just not possible to go to the gym, even a walk can get the blood flowing!
- To do list/ Set a Goal
Sometimes the best way to target a large project or paper is by breaking it into smaller tasks and making a checklist. The checklist makes it much easier to take things step-by-step, enabling you to make incremental progress towards your goal. Similarly, you can set daily goals. They can be as simple as hitting a certain word count or reading a certain number of pages. Setting and achieving simple goals, daily, can be incredibly rewarding, which is beneficial in improving morale. It can also help you stay focused on one thing at a time and allow you to enjoy the rest of your day guilt-free.
In conclusion, these are just a few ideas for how you can stay focused and get the words flowing. These seem to be working for me, but everyone is different. Let me know in the comments below what things help you focus!