How to take a break and not fall behind

The first few weeks of semester can be overwhelming. Assignment deadlines are coming up fast. Unit readings are piling up. While these things might be happening, taking a break, even for a couple of days, can make a positive difference to your productivity and outlook.

reading by the water

The mid-semester break is an opportune time to decompress and process what you’ve learned so far. By taking a step away from study, you can return with fresh eyes and motivation that will help you through the rest of the semester. A break doesn’t need to cause stress. A break that is planned well can help ensure you don’t fall behind.

Before the mid-semester break, ask yourself, ‘What do I absolutely need to get done this week?’

Prioritise what you need to have completed before the mid-semester break. Is it an assignment? Some research? An assessed activity or quiz? There might be small, niggly things that you could complete in little time. If there are big things, break them up into bite-sized chunks. This will help you focus and work through them.

List 3-5 next steps for yourself for each unit.

Save time reviewing your progress and figuring out where you left off. Do the thinking before you take a break. What are the very next steps you need to take to progress an assignment, revision, tutorial activity, etc? Keep these steps small so you can pick up momentum more easily.

This is what I mean…’research for accounting assignment’ can seem big and daunting. Instead, try breaking it down, like this…

  • Review my assignment task and identify key requirements.
  • Review my reading notes and mind map key concepts and ideas.
  • Identify the resources I need to search. Formulate a plan.

By being more specific about what you need to do next, you can know exactly what you need to get on with when you return from your 303study break.

Catching up on readings? Be strategic about it!

Readings overload? You will rarely need to read every single word. Before you start to read, understand the purpose of why you’re reading something. This will determine the strategy you take.
Are you looking to deepen your understanding? Looking for clarification? Answer a specific question?

For more about how to read more strategically, check out the study skills workshop ‘Read it, note it, recall it’ available on Blackboard. Once logged into Blackboard, either go to the community site directly and click ‘Enrol’, or use ‘Community Finder’ and search with the name ‘Library Back to Study’. You’ll find the workshop materials under ‘Resources’.

It’s okay to take a break! Here are some ideas…

Take a picnic blanket and a book (or your unit readings) and head outside. One of my favourite spots is by the water at Sandgate, easily reached by the Shorncliffe train line. Fish n chips, anyone?

Go explore a part of Brisbane you’ve never been before.

Chill out in the Games Lab at the Kelvin Grove Library. Consoles and controllers can be borrowed from the Library Helpdesk on Level 2.

Did you know there are free fitness classes at Southbank? Why not take a friend?

Have a fabulous break!

What do you do to take time out from study?