«Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.»

This quote by Benjamin Franklin is touching on several topics, that come back to me again and again during my studies: Productivity, priorities, taking decisions, high quality activity versus wasting time. Studying is never finished. You can always read more articles, you can always repeat the same stuff over again, you can always change what you have already done. There is always something more and better to do.

At one point I realized that I could really do better. By doing less and by doing more what I want.  A good part of studying successfully is actually about not studying. And sometimes this requires exercise and discipline! Right now, I am training, as I am working on my master thesis and preparing a demanding course. But also it is time now to collect berries and mushrooms, and I have many other projects. Therefore today, I have collected some of my reminders to myself on being productive! 🙂

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Be flexible. Planned to work from 8 to 16, but now you think all the time about going for a run and the weather is perfect, too? Get out! As long as you do not fool yourself to avoid working, listen to yourself. What is it really time for right now? Is it good for you, what you feel like doing? If you are active and productive you will have some new ideas, where you were stuck in your essay / report / thesis before.

Priorities.It helps me a lot to do a structured to do list. What is urgent, what is important? What is on the «important but not urgent» spot every day, but I never do it? Do I reach my goals by doing what I am doing? Am I too busy with the urgent stuff to even notice, what is important for me right now? If you are too busy, you will not be productive. In fact, those two words are opposites.

Pareto-Principle. 20 % work will bring 80 % of the output, the other 20 % output will cost you 80 % of the work. Knowing this principle of economics might change, how much time you might spend with that last page of the optional reads for the next course, mh? Maybe learn instead how to play ukulele, bake breads, work with wood or wool. Your brain will thank you and surprise you with outside-the-box- ideas!

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Well-being first. You have to study 15 hours a day, no time for a walk? No time to cook something? No time for anything? It’s a lie or an excuse. Choose activity (outside, anywhere) over non-activity  (in front of a screen) There are some important things out there: Keep in touch with reality, nature and your body. That world out there is the first reason you study, I guess?

Important questions. Spend time with good friends and yourself, to ask and answer the important questions. To be able to find answers it is necessary, to stop. Especially if you feel too busy to even think about anything.

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You had to study all these years and had no time to think about what you really wanted to do? Fly up on that meta-level every now and then, instead of regretting later on!

Have a great study period and keep thinking and learning – also about yourself 😉

L.


 

All pictures in this entry were taken by Nadine Reindwardt.

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