With recess week upon us, Shane gives you 6 tips on how you can make the most of this time you have. Shane believes that you’re not only capable but you will have the most awesome recess week you ever had inside and outside of Tembusu. Read this, follow it, act upon your inner inhibitions and have the most amazing time!
We did it. We survived 6 brutal weeks of life in university and to commemorate this achievement, recess week is here! Here are some tips on how to make recess week the most productive week ever! Follow these tips and you might be back on track to your 5.0 CAP by the end of recess week (if you’re not already on track that is) – no promises though.
1. Plan, strategize, conquer.
Recess week is only 7 days. It’s not a lot of time but it’s not too little time either. To make the most out of it, you need to plan your time well. Think about the things you have achieved the past 6 weeks and all the things you haven’t. From there, plan what you want to achieve, plan what you need to accomplish and plan your recess week time around those goals you have set yourself. Planning is the key to productivity! Recess is week only 7 days but that in itself is 168 hours which is a whopping 10,080 minutes. University is a battlefield and only the best of the best survive. You need to strategize your time well to win this war of the fittest and I know you can do it. No one goes into battle without a strategy. There are things that are outside your control but there are also things that are within your control and time is one of them. You can make the most out of the time you have and I know you can do it. Believe in yourself! 6 weeks are over and if you feel it was grossly unproductive, it’s over, forget about that, it’s not something you can control. What matters more is what you do with the time you have now, it’s in your hands to make the most of it. You can do it, I know you can!
2. Make a list.
Did this list really just ask me to make a list? Yes, yes, this list indeed just asked you to make a list. There is only so much information we can retain in our brains, and for most of us, it is practically impossible to remember what we need to do, what we should do, when we should do it and when we need to complete it. What better way to keep track of what you need to accomplish for recess week than by creating a list! Recall the sheer satisfaction of checking tasks off your to-dos. That sheer sense of satisfaction is inexplicable. You’ll feel so accomplished because you have evidence of productivity that earns you a pat on the back.
But hey, life is full of distractions and you might find yourself in a situation where your to-do list goes unfinished for so many reasons but that’s alright. It doesn’t matter whether you finish them or not at the end of the day! As long as that list has induced you to finish at least one completed task, it has served its purpose! Imagine if you didn’t have that list, I bet you wouldn’t even finish that one completed task you intended to finish! So, don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t complete your list; instead, work around it. Adapt, re-think, re-schedule and re-focus! You STILL have time. Use that list to fight the demons of procrastination that exists within us all.
3. But remember to wake up early.
Recess week is the week without any 8am tutorials and lectures! Use this time to catch up on sleep and clear your sleep debt. A sleep bank is actually a thing so that in itself is a reason why we need to sleep, to repay all the sleep we owe our body. Listen to your body, if it’s telling you “HEY, I need to rest!” then give your body that sleep it wants – it deserves it. You deserve it! We don’t need a rocket scientist (or a computer science major) to explain the benefits of sleep on productivity.
But don’t overdo it though! It is so easy to over-indulge in sleep, and so make it a point to wake up early! Studies have shown that the wealthiest and most successful people in the world wake up early because it’s scientifically related to productivity, and because I know that you are on your way to becoming one of those people, wake up early and start that journey now!
4. Plan a schedule.
It’s one thing to plan, it’s another thing to schedule. Now that you have a plan for what you want to accomplish for recess week and a list of things you wish to achieve to reach the goals you’ve set yourself, you need to plan everything into a schedule so that you find yourself able to manage your time effectively. Why then is a schedule so important? It’s so you don’t forget the little stuff. Scheduling isn’t only about what you need to do but also what you want to do. Plan your time well and give yourself enough time to do things that aren’t academically or intellectually important but emotionally important. Give yourself ample time for sleep, give yourself time to go and do things that you enjoy and give yourself time for all the little things that give life meaning beyond just studying, mugging and your CAP. Life is more than that and you know it yourself!
This is why scheduling is so important! It ensures that you set aside time for your mental well-being, so that, at the end of the day, you don’t feel guilty for being unproductive. You’ll have allocated time for yourself, your body, your soul and your heart.
It’s called recess week for a reason and not studying or mugging week. That means it’s time for you to take a break and unwind because you deserve it. Even if you feel you don’t deserve it, you do! Take this time to re-centre yourself and rest. Do something you like do, something you love, something you’re passionate about. Go out! Have fun! Act on your personal passions and ambitions – start a movement, or a social project/experiment! Make it a point where when one asks you, “How was your recess week?”, you find it within yourself to reply, “It was freaking AMAZING!” Go, get drunk! Download Tinder and go on a date! Check something off your bucket list! Go get a piercing or even a tattoo! Learn a new skill or how to play an instrument! Try something you have never done before and make this recess week the most memorable one yet! Now is the time for you to make the most out of the time you have! You owe it to yourself. Create a story you can tell by the end of recess week! However, remember that these are just suggestions. You are not and should not be compelled to do whatever you don’t feel like doing. Listen to your heart and ask yourself, what you want to do and do it! What you do this week should be about you and only you.
6. Meditate, reflect and be grateful.
Again, don’t fret on the things you didn’t manage to accomplish during the first 6 weeks of school. Instead, focus on what you did accomplish the last 6 weeks and congratulate yourself for doing it. Be proud of the littlest accomplishment and define yourself with what you achieved instead of what you didn’t manage to achieve. Then, spend some time to reflect on what you could have done better and work on that. Life is a journey and the end-game isn’t here yet. It’s not about what you failed to do but what you do to change it. Pick yourself up, meditate and reflect on what you can do better and act upon it! I’m with you every step of this journey and I know that you can do it. You got this! I know you do.
While you’re at it, remember that while you focus on yourself, you’re not walking this journey alone. Acknowledge your friends and the people around you and take this time to show some gratitude – to yourself, to your friends, to the people around you, to society. Gratitude and humility can go a long way, so take this time to thank everyone that was there for you along this journey. Thank yourself, your body, for surviving the last 6 weeks. Thank the new friendships forged and thank old ones for continuing to be there for you. Thank everyone who played a part in this story you’re writing, thank everyone whom you’ve made memories with, because what will survive of us are these intangibles.
Go, friend, have the most awesome recess week ever!
About the Author
Shane saunters through life with a keen sense of exploration. Having found solace in yoga, spirit in indie music and passion in Economics & Southeast Asian Studies, Shane still actively seeks new pursuits. He’s passionate about ideas surrounding poverty, race, multiculturalism and how we can work together towards a more equal and equitable society where everyone has a shot at life. He hopes to be a set of fresh eyes, a warm presence and to finally wake up on time for breakfast.