The start of an academic year is exciting. I remember the day I arrived in London to start at Goldsmiths. There’s a temptation to sign up for every project or group. However, too many activities combined with many school tasks, not to mention a part-time job can quickly overwhelm and lead to burnout without good time management. At Make Time Count, we think the best way students can learn how to improve these skills is from each other at one of our Grid workshops. I went to work to put this to a test.
Together with my fellow intern Delia at Make Time Count, we planned a Grid workshop for fellow students during the first week of term. Below they share their process and student feedback. Let’s see how the Grid workshop went down and the difference this made to the students.
What made us organize the workshop
Having both seen how beneficial the Grid was for us, we organized an introductory Grid workshop to share the Grid method with students during freshers’ week. The tool really worked for us so we wanted to naturally share it and get feedback from other students. What we both had in common apart from being interns at Make Time Count and going to the same university, Goldsmiths, was the fact that regular calendars, agendas, bullet journals, list-making, and other most common organizational methods were not meeting our needs. We are both people who are stimulated by:
- clear visual cues,
- simplicity, and
- freedom of choice.
Shaping the Grid Student Workshop idea
Planning the workshop itself did not feel as overwhelming as it sounded, once we could add each task onto our Grids! Breaking big projects down in this way really helps!
We chose to hold the Grid workshop during fresher’s week because we strongly felt that if implemented at the start of the course, the Grid stood to make a big difference to a student’s wellbeing and success. The Grid method is designed to help everyone look after their wellbeing, while also nudging them to complete work, without having to be pressured by deadlines. For students work is often about keeping on top of assignments but it can also include other things such as volunteering or work.
Even more so, the Grid also tackles future employability (which as students we can not ignore)! This means that it gives space for tasks such as career workshops, interview preparation, while still emphasizing the need for a budding social life. These were all the aspects we were excited to share with other students
Key Introduction to Grid for Students workshop
- Pinpoint your personal struggles using the research we had from students worldwide.
- Give an overview of the Grid method, using a 5-minute reflective exercise and a 10-minute organisational group game.
- Give students an opportunity to try out the Grid, by following an example page we made.
- Answer questions about the method, including how we personally use Grids to support us.
- Equip students with resources beyond the workshop, through a friendly follow-up email. In it, we neatly reminded them of our University’s wellbeing and academic services and shared our tried and tested Grid-related ‘freebies’.
In summary, our key goal was practical education, personalized solution building, and upskilling so that the students leaving our workshop felt supported in their new journey towards being more organized and satisfied with their lives.
- Students need support and were keen to get it. We had great turnout, with over 100 students accepting our event invite, and close to half turning up. Similar events often struggle to attract more than 10 students, in our experience as Community Leaders within the Uni’s department.
- The Grid was something students could easily understand and map onto. They could see how their daily tasks and larger goals fit naturally in one of the four Grid quadrants. You can also see it for yourself here.
- Our attendees liked that the Grid had tangible science and human proof behind it. Both our personal success stories and the case studies we shared showed students that the Grid could not only benefit them, but that teachers and professors also use it successfully.
- The concept of a single page really resonated, as did the idea of balance instead of obligations. With the Grid, being introspective and reflecting on your values and dreams is like second nature. The Grid helps students think more comprehensively about how their actions and choices have consequences in terms of their wellbeing, stress levels and wishes.
- Students enjoyed learning about something that could help them right away. When we invited students to build a Grid for the next day, they were very engaged and eager to try it.
Why students need practical tools and human support
Scroll through some of the comments we captured during the workshop. We include them here so that if you’re a student you can see that you’re not alone.
We have been in these shoes as well. It’s why we like and adopted the Grid for our lives and why we are now Grid Student Ambassadors.
But we’re not alone. Check out these blogs from other students who also put the Grid to use and wrote a blog or shared their story with us.
We are incredibly happy that the Grid method can help students and that it interests them. We believe it can undoubtedly make a difference in their lives and we will be organizing more events to come as well as working with University departments to help us bring the Grid workshops to their students and staff.
If you’re a student
Watch this short film our intern Marie Lopez made and how Grid has helped her nurture self-care, better mental health, project work and just starting and ending each day well. Could this be you?
Check out these free Gridding resources we have prepared! You will be well on your way towards feeling balanced and achieving more, with less stress.
Student wellbeing or mental health aider or other institutional decision maker
If you represent an institution and are interested in bringing the Grid method to your own students, get in touch with us. We would love to work with you to bring the Grid workshop experience to your community. If you’re after a system that will help your students and staff get more organized, achieve better results, have clarity that supports a calmer nervous system, and feel more motivated and inspired with their actions, our Grid tool and training can help!
Someone keen to create order, structure and be on your way to more results and better self-care now?
As we always say, for those interested in doing better, there is always a way but one must start!