Whether you're starting a new term at university or a new online course, it's essential that you establish boundaries when studying.
It would be nice to think that life will wait patiently by the door and that your courses will pass in a breeze, but if you're a mere mortal you might find that firm boundaries are required.
Boundaries for your study mean ensuring that you, and those around you, know and understand when you're studying as well as when you're not.
It can be challenging to find the right balance but laying down boundaries and expectations is a skill like any other. So, read on and find out how your life and study can co-exist in perfect harmony.
Set Realistic Goals
As important as your studies are, it’s neither possible or healthy for you to study all day every day.
Instead, create realistic goals for how much work you plan on doing on a daily or weekly basis.
Remember to review these goals often and adjust as necessary – and don’t forget to congratulate yourself on all those goals that you reached.
Mastering Your Agenda
We all need to juggle study with personal commitments, so it’s worthwhile creating a master schedule so that you can visually understand how your time is allocated across all of you obligations and to communicate this with others.
Take a weekly calendar and carve out time that you consider sacred – family obligations, exercise or perhaps a relaxing Sunday evening. Then pencil in time dedicated purely to your studies. Share this calendar with your family or friends with the clear expectation that some house just cannot be intruded upon.
Create a Study Space
Creating a specific area where you can sit and study in peace isn’t just a good idea for establishing boundaries - it may also improve your studying skills.
Find what works for you and, where possible, reserve that as your study spot alone. It may be something as simple as a corner of your kitchen table where you can do your online study on your laptop. But you and those around you will come to respect that this is when you’re in study mode.
Make Time for Yourself
Personal time is vital for maintaining boundaries. When we're tired and feeling overwhelmed, we might take on more than we can handle.
This includes scheduling in time to rest as well as ensuring you're taking good care of your mental and physical health.
While a plan is essential, it’s also good to remember that real life can ignore plans quite easily. Not every day will follow your plan or be a success – but that’s fine! Allow yourself to regroup and start again tomorrow.