… blog about procrastination, we discussed the first step to deal with procrastination, which is admitting it. After this, it is important to put yourself in an environment that helps you focus. Which brings us to:
Step Two: Choose a ‚good‘ study location.
A suitable study location changes from one student to another, however, there are some common characteristics of the recommended study location. It should be clutter-free, quiet, and not usually used for other activities, like your bed. Examples of this would be the university’s library, your desk in your room, a quiet coffee shop, or your favorite spot on campus. Having two or more locations to visit regularly would ensure sustained productivity, as you are less likely to feel bored, and helps for easier execution of the following step.
Step Three: Eliminate distractions.
Whether it is a cluttered desk with many items, a seemingly neverending stream of notifications on your phone, loud noises from your flatmate, or any other form of distractions that you could identify, the goal is elimination. It could help to sit down and write these distractions down and formulate an action plan to get rid of them, but in the case of your loud flat mate, perhaps consider a talk first.
Taking one day off to declutter your desk will be worth it!
… control is better. Losing control of things can often throw us off course. But sometimes it helps us. Let go and let yourself drift. Save up your strength so that you can get going at the right moment. Letting go mentally (3 to 5 minutes)
Take a seat on a chair. Close your eyes. Rest your arms and hands on the back of the chair or fold them loosely in front of your stomach. Your feet are in contact with the floor.
Notice the sounds of your surroundings, your thoughts and emotions, your body.
Just let everything be there. Let what happens happen. The sounds, your thoughts and emotions.
You are just there and do nothing but be there. Allow everything to be there and let it happen.
Note: This exercise, used regularly, is first and foremost a classic relaxation exercise. However, it also trains the ability to let things happen and not always wanting/needing to control everything.
..unfocused most of the time? Do you find it difficult to remember the tasks you need to get done? Is it difficult not to hold your phone every 20 minutes? Do you feel tired and unproductive? Is your caffeine consumption over the roof?
Then maybe you are dealing with procrastination. Procrastination is the action of delaying something, usually a task. Sometimes, over and over again. The idea of the task itself feels gigantic and overwhelming. In some cases, sitting down and looking over the task, could put it in perspective and help to simplify the feelings associated with this task. In other cases, sitting down could confirm the size of the task, and further overwhelm the student. So how should you go about handling procrastination? Over the next few weeks and biweekly, we will introduce the series of ‚Dealing with Procratsination‘,
Step one: Admit that you are procrastinating.
The first step for finding a solution to procrastination is to admit that you are dealing with it. It is more difficult to deal with procrastination when you identify the symptoms but struggle to know why you behave this way. Why do you miss so many deadlines? and struggle to keep a proper study schedule? Why is your time management so poor? Identifying the problem will make it easier to move on to the solutions, by shifting your mindset to deal specifically with procrastination.
… from the earth. Letting go is not always easy. No matter in what respect. But sometimes you have to let go in order to find yourself anew. Letting go physically (3 to 5 minutes)
Choose a relaxed sitting position and close your eyes. Your feet are in contact with the floor, your arms and hands are resting on the back of the chair or are folded loosely in front of your stomach.
Focus your attention on your body. Your arms, legs, pelvis, abdomen, breathing, back, shoulders, neck, head and forehead. Walk through all the passages attentively.
Can you feel the tension? Are there places in your body where you feel strain? Realize that you don’t need to exert yourself while sitting. Allow the effort to fade away where you feel it. After a while, you should be sitting without any effort at all.
Tip: If you practise letting go physically for a few minutes at a time throughout the day, you will also become better at letting go mentally over time.
.. with waking up early? If yes, then this post is for you.
It is not easy for university students to juggle the different aspects of our lives stress free. One thing which is a common factor across all the activities we have to engage with on a day to day basis is time, or the lack of it. A simple yet very effective trick to create more time for your day is to wake up early. I know it sounds cheesy and I am not really introducing something new here. This is a kind reminder that waking up early needs patience with yourself and multiple trials until your body gets used to it. Those few quiet hours in the morning are for you to wake up slowly and not jerk yourself off the bed and rush through your breakfast to catch the bus, but rather to have a slow morning where you give your brain time to wake up and to treat yourself to a proper breakfast in preparation for a less stressful day. Here are a few tips to start:
1- Set a time that is realistic. Give yourself the 7 or 8 (or how many you need) hours to sleep, rest and recharge. Do not try to wing 4 or 5 hours of sleep (unless that is what your body needs).
2- Prepare the night before the things you need to do in the morning, so that it is not stressful to arrange this when you are still half asleep
3- Be patient with yourself and give yourself enough time to do things slowly. In a few (not super) consistent weeks you will find yourself falling into a nice routine and enjoying more productive time on your days.
Using this extra time, perheps you would be interested to visit our workshops in English and German at the Career Center, do not hesitate to check them out here.
Some fresh fruits and a nice cup of coffee in your slow morning could make a big difference in your day 🙂
… vacation. Everyone has probably heard this advertising slogan before. Vacation is always good and beautiful. Escape from everyday life and simply enjoy a change of scenery. New countries, new cultures, sounds, smells and tastes. All of this makes for a great vacation. But what if you can have a little vacation at home every day? The inner vacation (3 to 5 minutes)
Take a seat and relax. Close your eyes and allow yourself to take a little trip down memory lane. Experience situations in which you were completely relaxed and felt at ease. Which situations come up?
Which situations do you want to choose and explore in more detail? Where, when, with whom was it? What images, sounds, smells, tastes do you associate with the situation? Maybe you want to stay in this situation for a few moments.
What feelings and moods do you perceive in your body?
Enjoy your feelings and moods and everything pleasant that you associate with this situation until a certain wake-up time.
… to anyone interested in our workshops. There is a change in dates in two of our seminars as shown in the picture, due to room unavailability. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to see you in the new dates!
… has already started. Whether it is your very first semester, or the last in your program, we are all going in the new semester with excitement and hope. We have all listed goals to achieve by the end of the semester, regardless of how big or small. Perheps we want the new semster to be different form the last, more productive? more efficient? healthier? calmer? No matter what your goal is, if you seek change in your structure in any way, you have to commit to making little changes everyday. If your goal is to have a less stressful semester, then you need to plan well and start early. If it is to have more productivity, then you need to idenify distractions and actively eliminate them in your everyday life. Small changes would gradually lead to a big impact. So get your notebook and planner ready because this semester might just be the one you would enjoy the most!
While you are filling in your appointments, do not forget to type in the dates of our workshops (labeled in orange). You can find more information here.
… only as old as you feel. Everyone has probably heard or said this saying at some point. If you do not feel 100% comfortable in your body, this can be an additional burden. Try the following exercise, which you can easily do anywhere.
Progressive muscle relaxation (10 to 15 minutes)
Choose a comfortable position (sitting, lying, standing)
First direct your attention to your breathing
Start with the arm:
Move your attention to the arm
Make a fist, pull your arm to your body, tense your muscles with about 80% intensity and hold the tension for a few breaths.
Now release the tension and keep your attention on the arm for a few moments.
Perform the exercise with your other arm in the same way.
Face: squint your eyes, pull the corners of your mouth outward, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, hold the tension for a few breaths, release and trace.
Torso: pull the shoulder blades back, tighten the abdomen, tense the gluteal muscles, release and trace
Neck and throat: tense muscles, press chin toward chest without touching chest and hold for several breaths, release and trace
Leg: tense muscles, curl toes down, release and trace. Repeat with the other leg
…can be overwhelming. It could easily consume your days and become a constant stress factor.
It is important to take some time off, where you do not think about your plans. This is crucial, not only for your physical and mental health, but also for a better and more efficient planning process. After your break from planning, and when you then revisit your ideas, you will begin to see opportunities, or threats , which were not visible before. You will also identify strengths and weaknesses of your plans. The more you engage in this process of thinking and then pausing completely, and then rethinking, the more refined your plan will be, as you will put your ideas under the test of ‘fresh thinking’. It will be a little bit similar to writing an article and having a friend look over it for spelling mistakes, the friend’s fresh eyes will point out things which you were blind to while engaging closely with your work. So take a deep breath, plan a nice weekend for yourself and start again next Monday!
It is important to look at your text with fresh eyes, either by laying it aside for a couple of days or asking a friend to go through it, you might be surprised with what they might discover.