Downtime is Just as Important as Work | CityBlock

It is not unusual for students to feel guilty if they take some time away from studying, especially when swamped with a ton of reports to complete, research to carry out, looming deadlines and so on and so forth. The option of having any downtime away from studying during busy periods may seem a bad idea, but research has shown that downtime has many benefits and is just as important as work. 

Higher education is a new experience for many first-year students and, though exciting, that new experience can take its toll. Many others would have moved on to a higher year during the winter term, taking on more challenging work, while some may be overseas students new to the UK.

As the workload builds up in the run-up to Christmas, the holidays are a good time to relax, take stock and return renewed and refreshed. Here are three ways students can benefit from having some downtime this Christmas and through the duration of their studies:

1. Improved Productivity

Few people would disagree that relaxation can help with feeling refreshed and to replenish depleted energy.

Students may feel like they need to study hour after hour trying to get inspiration for that essay or solve a complex mathematical problem before they can even entertain the thought of having a break. But researchers have discovered that this approach may be counterproductive.

Research has shown that the brain has a way of providing us with a solution when it is at rest and the mind is diverted away from a tasking issue. Some researchers believe that studying under stress can be quite intense and can cause the brain to “shut down” or be less receptive to ideas. This then makes it harder to complete assignments and can cause students to spend much longer on tasks than studying after the brain has rested.

Returning back to a task refreshed improves clarity of thought and efficiency generally, which means that students are likely to be more productive in the long run.

2. Avoid Burnout

Another reason why we support students having some downtime is to avoid burnout. Burnout can leave students feeling extremely stretched, tired and ill-tempered. Burnout can also lead to poor decision making and even illness in some cases.

Spending long hours studying does not necessarily mean that a person will burn out, but what is important is for each student to try to identify when they might be taking on too much and need a break.

3. Increase Inspiration 

Studying can be relentless, especially when the things to do seem to be never-ending. This relentless cycle can lead to fatigue and loss of inspiration which can sometimes manifest itself as “writers’ block”.

Writer’s block is often associated with students studying creative courses like literature and the arts, but, in reality, it is an experience that students studying every type of course can encounter, making it difficult to complete essays and other work.

Taking some time away from studying to spend with friends and family or on other things on your own (such as catching up on much-needed sleep) can help with finding inspiration.

Here at CityBlock, our fully furnished student accommodation is designed to support a healthy study and rest pattern, so you can rest assured that when you come to us we will provide you with a range of accommodation options to suit your needs. Contact us to find out more.

Posted on December 5th, 2017