How to have a productive day at the library

UL Bolton Library 13
01.02.2016 Bolton Library, Cashel Co. Tipperary. Picture: Alan Place/Fusionshooters

By Sarah Talty

The semester weeks are finally in the double digits and dread has started to creep in. Whether you’re cramming for exams or trying to meet deadlines, it can be hard to get focused. Some people are lucky to have the motivation to study at home but for the rest of us only the library will do. There’s nothing like holding a coveted seat in the library and powering through all your work. For many of us though, distractions get in the way and we find ourselves leaving mentally drained with little done.

Glucksman_Library

To combat this we’ll pinpoint the main things that get in the way of being productive and how to overcome them:

Hunger

Bring lots of snacks and water and also pack a lunch for yourself. There is no faster way to decide to leave the silence of the library than having your stomach demonstrating a whale call because you haven’t fed it in hours.

Your phone

Phones are the worst! You decide to scroll through your phone for a few minutes and before you know it you’ve wasted half an hour. There are apps that can block certain sites and apps on your phone or just lock it completely for a certain period of time. My favourite app is one called Dinner Mode, in which you choose a period of time to not pick up your phone. If you pick it up before the minutes you chose have passed then you lose. Very simple but effective if you’re as competitive as I am. It’s a great way to give yourself time periods of working hard with no distractions before taking a break. You could just leave your phone at home too, up to you.

Friends

When your friends want to hang out it can be hard to say no when you’ve been staring at figures and essays for hours. We’re in the last few weeks though and your friends should be studying too so they’ll understand when you say no. Plan breaks to meet your friends so your brain doesn’t explode, or turn to mush four hours in of looking at a computer screen.

23.09.14           University of Limerick Supplement. Picture: Alan Place.

Seats

Come early to get a good seat and don’t lose your precious seat by taking breaks longer than 45 minutes. Also if a friend has a class to go to or is leaving the library for good have it arranged that you text the other in advance to see if they want to come in and take your seat.

Planning

‘By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail’

Take 10 minutes when you first get into the library and spend it planning what you want to achieve that day. Write out a to do list and tick each task off, even if it’s just something small such as completing a recommended reading. It will help you get more done and give more structure to your day so you can get the best out of your day.

Tiredness

Being tired is one of the main ways to kill all productivity at the library. If you’re too tired in the morning you won’t get anything done and if you’re too tired in the evening you’re likely to just give up and head home. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, especially if you’re trying to hit the library for the whole day. Pack your bag the night before so you can give yourself an extra 15 minutes in bed in the mornings.

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Tips on organising assignments and mid-term stress

By Nadine Kimak

During your study period at the University of Limerick you will have to do several assignments, presentations, tests and exams. They are all spread out during your semester. In my case I have to write blogs every second week, three group projects and some essays and exams. Unfortunately a lot of these assignments were scheduled in the mid-term. Last week. That means a lot of stress because you have to go to your lectures, meet with your groups and then work on your essays. But don’t worry, somehow you make everything work.

So I have some tips and advice, which helped me organizing my assignments and getting everything ready on time.

  1. Start early enough.

I know that’s hard and I always have to remind me on that. But it will make your life so much easier. If you have a break between lectures and you don’t know what to do, just sit down and start researching for some assignments.

  1. nadineWrite an assignment plan.

For example, the plan to the left. You can see in which week you have to submit an assignment. The best thing about this plan is that you can cross out the things you already finished. So little by little there will be less assignments on your plan.

  1. Ask for help.

Don’t be scared to ask questions. The lecturers don’t expect you to be perfect and know everything. If you are not sure just ask them. You don’t want to ask them in person? Nor problem, just write an email.

And you can also talk to other students in your module or study program.

  1. Get out of your room.

I know that when you start writing an essay the time flies by and you sit on your laptop for hours. Get out of your room. Walk around your neighborhood, do some sports or just do anything. Because your brain sometimes needs a little break.

 

Ok I don’t want to scare you. It sometimes just sounds a lot. If you start early and take your time, you will not have any stress with your assignments. Just believe in yourself and not put so much pressure on yourself. I had a rough week but I did it. And when I submitted my essays today, I was really proud of myself. And you can do that, too.

nadineNadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.