Are you struggling with finding the balance between studies and free time? Student times should not only be about long days and dusty old books!

Work smart - not hard

How to make sure you are studying as efficiently as possible? Are you struggling with finding a balance between school, studies, and free time? As a student, you should be able to enjoy your student life as well, so ideally, your days do not consist only of long days at school and reading dusty old books. With ISIC’s tips, you will learn how to study more efficiently and get a chance to enjoy your student life to the fullest! 

How to deal with everything at once? 

It can be difficult to handle all the tasks at once, assignments, projects, exams and all the other things you have in your life. An agenda, is an excellent tool for keeping track of your week. If traditional calendar does not feel like you could get the most use out of it, try out, for instance, Bullet Journal or a vision board. With bullet journal, you can document the recent projects, and vision boards can help to clarify what you want to achieve in the future. These fit especially to visual learners. 

What are the most urgent tasks?

Make a list of all the things that need to get done during the next two weeks. Do not aim to look into too far away to the future but focus on the current projects. This way, you can write down all the tasks with a clear overview and prioritise the most important ones. A long term entities, are made of smaller individual tasks, and when you focus on doing smaller tasks, the bigger projects do not feel like such a huge job. One step at the time! 

Create a schedule

What’s the best day for you to focus on your assignments? Choose days and times when you are the most efficient, and when you can, preferably, focus on these tasks for a whole work day or at least multiple hours at once. You get much more done compared to when your work will be interrupted constantly or when having shorter time slots to focus. Make sure to add free time to your schedule and times you focus on your hobbies. When there are nice things in the schedule, you have things to look forward to, and at the same time you ensure there is enough time to recover. As we all know, it's not good to study days and nights, without rest, your brain will not be able to absorb the information.


Avoid distraction 

There is just no one place or way to study. Others focus on a quiet library, whereas some enjoy doing their work at a busy cafe. Hold on to whatever floats your boat! Keep in mind that the distractions aren’t only your phone or a chatty friend, but maybe a bad night's rest or a headache. That’s why it's extremely important to take care of resting enough and choosing the optimal times for studying. Even when trying to avoid all the possible distractions, it does not mean you should not have any breaks. There’s a difference between getting up to stretch every 20 minutes and checking TikTok and Instagram every 10 minutes. 

Remember to work out!

Exercise has a positive impact on our brain and energy levels. Even the smallest amount of sports helps to boost your mood, and the workout does not need to be anything crazy, but a walk, bike trip, or a short yoga lesson may do the trick. A short walk is also a great way to reset your thoughts before and/or after studying.

Have a break 

Even though it's good to focus fully on an assignment you are busy with, remember to have a break every now and then. A good rule of thumb is 80/20, meaning 80% of work and 20% rest. A nap, stretching, exercise or listening to music are good ways to let your brain rest in between studying. 


Dare to say NO

It’s good to estimate what you want to spend your time with. If something is not exactly meeting your interest or you simply realize there is just no time, dare to say no and prioritise your time into more important things. Hardest is to refuse things you would really enjoy. If you have an important exam, thesis deadline, or an entrance examination ahead, it may not be a good idea to head to a festival, weekend trip with friends or a party right before, but focus on what matters the most at that point. 

Enjoy what you are doing

Create a schedule that allows you to enjoy your life to the fullest despite studying. The busiest time isn’t always the greatest, but you can make it as great as you can. Sit down for a coffee with a friend, take time for your hobbies, have a movie night, and get inspired by your own daily life. Refreshment helps you to focus again on your studies when it’s time. 

Review the schedule 

Evaluate how well your schedule has worked out. What went well, and what could still be improved? How could you still find a better balance between studies and free time? It’s often the case that we overestimate our capabilities of finishing tasks and fill the agenda with plenty of things to do you do not have time to do or don't have energy for. Already after a month, you will notice the limitations and pitfalls of your schedule and when you do, take a turn to fix it right away. Following an inefficient agenda does not serve you but only makes your daily life more difficult.