The transition from physical classes to online classes have made it difficult to cope with student life during the pandemic. The eye strain from looking at computer screens and their beds being next to them had been challenging to stay in focus during online lectures.
Without a doubt, it affected the students’ motivation as there are no physical interaction amongst each other. Unquestionably, being at home does not mean that there’s more time to complete tasks. Most of them have to allocate their time to chores and other responsibilities in their house.
Because of this, they barely have time for themselves and that could lead to more stress. Balancing studies and other responsibilities can be a challenging aspect of their everyday life especially after the declaration of the COVID-19.
Therefore, learning how to effectively manage your tasks will help you a lot in striking a good balance and additionally, help you to minimize the pressure from dealing with everything at once.
Here are our advice to help you cope with your studies during the pandemic:
1. Develop a To-Do List
Keeping a to-do list or action plan is necessary in order to create a work schedule. After your to-do list has been developed, it is also important to categorise the list by sorting out your tasks based on their importance and urgency. A great way to prioritise and perform this exercise is by referring to the Covey Quadrant (the 2×2 time management matrix popularised by Stephen Covey). This can help you to optimise your productivity and invest your time wisely.
You can develop your to-do list digitally on your laptop (via sticky notes or other relevant programs like Evernote) or physically on your schedule boards in order to keep you on track.
2. Create a Timetable and Stick to Your Plan
After defining your to-do list, the next thing is to develop an appropriate timetable, which consists of your daily plan for the week and your execution timeframe. Some of the common ways to create a timetable today include utilising time-organizing apps, pin-up planner board, or simply in your notebook. By creating a timetable, you can effectively gauge the time required to complete specific tasks.
Planning your work through a to-do list and timetable is indeed a great way to organize time efficiently. However, it is also important to note that what’s more important is having the discipline to follow through and stick to your timetable and plan. Having the focus and tenacity to maximise your productivity during your working hours will help you to create more free time for you to either rest and enjoy, or venture into other opportunities.
3. Minimise Procrastination
Often times, students subject themselves to stress because they procrastinate on things. As an example, delaying their course work and waiting to the very last minute to prepare for their tests and assignments. Procrastination typically occurs when you are forced to complete a task or revision within a few days, that was originally supposed to be done weeks in advance.
By procrastinating, you also risk the chance that you jeopardize the quality of your work. Having less time to complete also means less time to review and refine your work after the first draft. That’s why it is important to formulate a good strategy and foster discipline to avoid procrastination and always finish your tasks ahead of the designated deadline.
4. Exercise, Drink Enough Water and Sleep Well
Due to the intensity and hectic schedule, one thing that many students tend to neglect is their health. In the long run, maintaining a good physical and mental well-being is almost as important as having great academic achievements. Your health plays a significant role in your future success and sustainability of your career. You wouldn’t want to burn out in your late twenties or early thirties, would you?
A small but simple step to appreciate your body and maintain good health is to drink at least 2 litres of water and have 7 hours of sleep on average on a daily basis. Take some time to do light exercises at home. For instance, lunges, push-ups, burpees and planks in the morning to keep yourself energised throughout the day. It would be a plus point if you could allocate your time to jogging in the evening to get some fresh air after a long day.
5. Take Some Time Off
Life will be extremely stressful if you spend 7 days a week just studying and working. Everyone deserves a break from time to time. You should use this time to self-reflect, write your thoughts, meditate and simply enjoy things that interest you. It could be anything like listening to music, reading a book or watching a Netflix series. This is your alone time and you should not allow anyone to interrupt your leisure.
6. Socialise With Friends Virtually – Zoom Meetings, FaceTime
It is vital to catch up with friends at least once a day to increase interactions with others. With the new norm, it’s almost impossible to go out and have conversations over coffee at a café. Alternatively, you can agree on a time with your friends to have Zoom meetings, Facetime or Skype calls.
It can be exhausting to look at screens again. However with joy and laughter, it will definitely help boost your well-being.
We all need someone to talk to about our concerns and difficulties especially in these trying times. Consequently, sharing our thoughts with each other can make even the slightest difference!
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you’re struggling with any assignment or trying to understand a certain topic, do not hesitate to ask your classmates or better yet – your lecturers. Lecturers would be more than glad to assist their students when they’re in need. Before you schedule a call with your lecturers, make sure to have everything drafted in a Word document for them to help you better.
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