This might not be advice you’ve heard before.
I’ve been a uni student for 6 years and have never heard it and I’ve only been doing following it for a few weeks myself. But I just wanted to share the idea I’ve had because it might strike a chord with you.
Over the course of my time as a uni student I have always approached study the same way – every hour of the day, every day of the week and every week of the semester is a potential time to study.
I definitely don’t study all the time, but I do feel guilty about the fact I’m not studying all of the time.
There is no boundary.
Dealing with no boundaries
I never thought it was a problem because everyone struggles with it.
Every student I know gets that nagging ‘I should be studying’ feeling, even if we’re out somewhere and can’t study. Even if we’re spending time with family and friends. Even if we’re doing something fun purely for the purpose of having a break from studying.
We feel guilty and the guilt is real. And I thought that’s just the way it is.
But a few weeks ago I had a little epiphany when I was reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
This isn’t a book that’s necessarily about study, it’s about how to work less (pretty much) and besides a few really interesting time management things I didn’t really think there was much else I could use.
But then I thought – what if I could have weekends completely off, without the thought that we ‘should be’ studying?
Weekends without study
We long for the days when there’ll be a clear distinction between work and play and yes, we’ve even said stuff like ‘I can’t wait to have a full-time job so I can have weekends off’ (don’t worry, I realise this isn’t a reality for a lot of full-time workers either).
We just felt guilty about not studying all the damn time.
We long for the 9 to 5 because we long for someone to tell us we can put the books away at 5pm (or even 8 or 9pm). But why wish away the amazing student lifestyle we have just to get the distinction between work and play?
When I actually thought about it, there’s no reason I have to study on the weekends and there’s definitely no reason I have to feel guilty about not studying on the weekends.
I can see how everyone fell into this habit though. We don’t have anyone telling us when we should be studying and when we shouldn’t – we’re in control. So we feel like it’s something we should be doing all the time and we feel guilty when we don’t.
But of course, just as soon as the idea of not studying on weekends popped into my head I immediately felt myself protesting.
Why it works
There won’t be enough time to do everything! I already study over a full time study load (I’m doing a dual degree of law and finance and a diploma in French) – I need every minute I can get!
And this would be true if I was always productive when I study. But I’m not. A lot of time that I count as ‘studying’ I’m actually doing nothing more than sitting at my desk with a book open and a cup of tea, staring blankly at the words before me. And even when I am actually studying, I’m nowhere near as effective as I could be.
I realised part of the reason I’m not productive during the week is because I tell myself I have the weekend to catch up.
There is no sense of urgency. There is no pressure on my time.
So what if I made it that I couldn’t study on the weekend? What if I used it as a way to get my weekends back (without the guilt) and to be more productive? To me it sounded too good to be true.
Is it even possible? I’m almost 100% sure it will be.
I’m the kind of person that works well with a deadline. I rise to the occasion. When I start an assignment the night before it’s due I get an adrenaline rush equivalent to that of a mother lifting a car off her newborn baby.
If you’re a student you’ll know that the struggle with guilt is real – that feeling that you ‘should be’ studying never seems to go away.
But it is possible – I’ve been doing it for the last month and absolutely loving it!
Let me know what you think! Could this work for you? Would you ever think of trying it?
Don’t forget that comments are always welcome and appreciated – I’d LOVE to hear what you have to say.
P.S. If you’ve been looking for a place to find motivation and stop procrastinating, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to learn about my FREE Perfectionist Power-Ups. They’re motivational boosts sent straight to your inbox and you won’t find them anywhere else:
A motivational power-up ✨
I’ve always found it easiest to get out of my own way when I read or listen to something every day that gives me a boost of motivation.
Over the years I’ve gotten these motivational boosts from business and self-help podcasts, Youtube videos, inspiring quotes etc. And I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have those things there to cheer me on.
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