If there's one thing I've learned since starting my Ph.D. it's that free time is a luxury. Sometimes, I have so much work to do that it's virtually impossible to carve out time to do anything but sit in front of my desk. But any graduate student will tell you that it is incredibly unhealthy to work 24/7. We need time to rest and relax.
That's why I rely on calendar blocking to keep me on schedule and motivated each and every week. Blocking out my calendar ahead of time helps me to stay aware of my to-do list and priorities so that I can work effectively and keep Friday nights and Saturday clear for socializing, exploring Boston, or just taking a much needed day in bed.
If you're new to calendar blocking, I've outlined the steps I follow each week as well as my tips for success.
On Sunday evening, I block my calendar for the week.
I add in classes and regular meetings.
I add in any meetings or events for that week.
I add in time for meals/breaks/workouts
I check my to-do list for the week.
I block out time to work on my tasks based on how long I predict they will each take.
I block out time to work on my blog, content creation, LiketoKnow.it, etc.
I schedule off-time.
Tips for success:
Add calendar blocking to your bedtime routine on Sunday's so that you don't forget.
Be realistic in predicting how long assignments will take you.
Treat it as a guideline. Try to follow the schedule but don't stress if you get off track, just pick it up where you left off.
Schedule time in your day to take breaks and give yourself short periods of rest.
Until next time...