A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Most of us are trying to handle the huge workload of numerous exams, assignments, thesis and also other tasks outside the faculty. As striking a balance between all of those works and activities is not easy to achieve, we need some smart strategies to go through all these. How can we deal with all those deadlines and exacting tasks?
Well, one of the strategies I dispose of is what I call active resting. As a beginning remark, we must point out that our brain never rests nor stops thinking about anything. Even when we are not studying nor working, our brain keeps functioning and consuming energy. So, making sure that our brain spends its energy on what we want is in our hands. The second remark, mainly, the right side of our brain is the more artistic and creative side while the left side is the more academic and logical. Also, different functions are allocated in several parts of the brain.
Active resting is a method based on doing tasks of different kind following each other with a time limit. The aim of such a method is to prevent your brain suffers from fatigue resulting from long hours of concentration on the same subject. For instance, after having studied two hours on one of your courses, you can read something else relating one of your area of interest for half an hour. Another example, you can sort your daily things out in small pieces after engaging in intensive mental work. Even if you are too busy with courses and you are in a rush with deadlines, then at least you may try to study alternately on courses different in subject inasmuch as possible.
By doing so, you will let your brain breath a bit, process the new knowledge it received and also refresh itself in the meantime. Have you ever experienced that you solved a problem easier after you had left it aside for a while? That is because that part of your brain refreshed itself while you’re doing something else! Do not feel guilty as if you were procrastinating because this method may actually be better for your concentration and learning process.
Besides, the key point in this method is that you should refrain from overdoing anything. So, keep in mind that there is a fine line between active resting and procrastination. Getting things done through small and doable pieces not only keeps your concentration up but also increase your level of productivity.
Last but not least, try not to skip your gym/running/swimming days or any other physical activity you like. Remember; mens sana in corpore sano! (a healthy mind in a healthy body!). Cheers Leideners!
Which methods do you use to get things done? Share them in the comments!