At school, I was never great at working on the weekends. I was very much of the mindset that weekends were for relaxing and weekdays were for working. You go in and do your 9-5 (or whatever the school equivalent was) from Monday to Friday and that was it, you had reached your quota for the week.
That worked quite well for me. I was always willing to put in extra work during the week as I knew I was doing myself a favour and keeping the weekends free. So I would do a bit of extra work before lessons in the mornings and stay late after school to get all assigned work and any extra I wanted to finish completed before Saturday came around.
Starting at university I applied the same philosophy to my working week and in first year it served me well. I would quite often allow myself at least Sunday off at the end of the week and didn’t feel like I was getting myself behind. Now though, it doesn’t seem quite so simple.
Especially with everything being online, it seems to be a struggle just to get through my lectures by Friday (or even to remember what day of the week it is), let alone having attempted any problems sheets or other assignments that come with the course load. And I have had to change my attitude towards weekends and find it near impossible to take even a day off.
This is something I am determined to remedy and I wanted to write this post in case anyone else is in the same position. I want to try and get to a point where I don’t feel so guilty about taking time off to relax and look after myself. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
It worked well for me when I attended lectures throughout the week and knew that I would have gotten through all of that content by the weekend. I liked having a specific amount of time in specific slots that I would give to lectures each week and then it seemed quite a simple task to find time for other assignments around it.
I often feel like so much has been cancelled recently that there should be no shortage of spare time. Surely, it should be easy to fit everything in to this reduced schedule, but everything just seems to go so slowly online, staring at the computer screen all day.
I haven’t yet worked out the perfect solution (if such a thing even exists) but I think the key to it all is maintaining some semblance of normality. I make an effort to work from the same time morning to evening, day to day but the fluctuations in lecture content time and other assignments week to week make that quite difficult.
I’m still working it out and hope that this may come as a reassurance to someone else reading this and finding themselves in a similar position. You do deserve your breaks and you deserve a chance to take time away at the weekend.
Of course, I’ll let you know if I come up with some magic solution but I highly doubt one exists and, if it did, that it would work for everyone equally well. Just know that it’s difficult to plan when so much changes so frequently these days and if you try as best you can to find your new working week with a regular schedule, it will all slot together in the end.
So plan to do something this weekend. This Sunday just gone, at home we got a brief snowfall and I finally decided that if I was going to miss going out in snow, which happens maybe once ever three years or so, then I really was getting the balance a bit wrong.
Keep working hard but make time for yourself too!