fun

Think Schedules and Fun Don’t Mix? Think Again! TUB-Thump 028

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When we aim to have fun, we want as much fun as possible from the activity. That’s obvious!

But when I heard that scheduling your free time can take away some of that fun, I thought “Uh-oh…How do I deal with that?”

Since I go on so much about making sure you plan your time well–including your free time–I was worried that the sensible advice may be inadvertently spoiling your enjoyment.

Luckily, the study by Selin Malkoc and Gabriela Tonietto also suggests how to have the best of both worlds. That’s what I talk about in Episode 028 of TUB-Thump.

Even better, the study seems to confirm what I recently talked about too. You can combine routines and spontaneity in student life.

In fact, that combo could be the answer to ALL THE THINGS. (Okay, okay. Some of the things.)

Now you’ve got no excuse for not scheduling!

And I’ve got no excuse for double negatives…


Here are the show notes for the 5-min episode:

  • 00:50 – How much should you schedule your free time?
  • 01:10 – Scheduling specific leisure activities can result in having less fun.
  • 02:00 – How can you schedule your free time and still have fun with it?
  • 02:45 – On being partially impromptu.
  • 03:50 – The focus of the study was on short activities, rather than preparing for something bigger, like a holiday.

Here’s a video with the authors of the paper explaining what they found:


Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

10 Ways to Spend a Night In

A big part of uni life is spent going out. Away from the dorm is the norm.

But that’s not strictly true. When you’re not studying, doing a part-time job, partying, or doing one of a billion different activities, there are bound to be times when you’re chilling out on the inside.

Then there’s the summer break and other holidays when you’re either back at home or making do with a more limited range of activities on campus.

For all the fun, I’m sure you still spend a lot of time in your digs. And even if you don’t, there’s always the odd night when you’d just rather stay in your room and lay low. However, this doesn’t mean you need to have a dull time, or stop being productive. There are many ways to have a great night resting in your dorm if you’re not in the mood to go out. Here are 10 specific ideas to consider:

dorm (photo by ainlondon)

1. Have a Cheap Meal Night

Chances are you have a tight budget, so clubbing together with mates for some posh but cheap grub is a great treat. Perhaps none of you are ready to make an elaborate meal from scratch, but it’s still cheaper to buy some big meals from the supermarket. Whether it’s pizzas on BOGOF or several family-size ready meals, these quick meals will often prove cheaper than ringing for a takeaway.

2. Learn Something New

Okay, so you weren’t ready to make that meal with your own ingredients. All you need is an open mind and a bit of time exploring. Time to learn something new!

It’s nice to focus on something that’s educational, but not necessarily part of your degree. And it doesn’t have to be about food, of course. Whether you have interest in history, science, a particular language, or a specific software program or business, take some time out to teach yourself something new.

3. Listen To An Old Album

University means growing up, and that gets a lot of people feeling nostalgic. For that reason, one fun activity to practice on a solo night in the dorm is to break out some old music to listen to. Just tune everything else out and listen straight through an old favourite – you might notice something new, or enjoy it more than you have in years. I did this the other night with some old Gomez tracks and it was lush!

4. Watch A Film Or Two

You may not have packed a DVD collection for uni, but now you can usually find a fun film or two to enjoy on various online streaming sites. Log into Picturebox Films for some nice selections, and take some time to just watch, whether you’re alone or with friends.

5. Catch Up On Assignments

This isn’t the most entertaining option, but you might be glad to take the opportunity to catch up, or get ahead, on study. Read that next chapter in the textbook, get a jump on your next big paper, etc. Productivity in a university environment is never a bad thing.

6. Catch Up With People From Home

If you’re closing yourself off in a dorm room for the night, why not take the time to catch up with people from home? Email, write letters, call, or Skype your old friends from home, and family members who will be thrilled to hear from you. This is a surprisingly rewarding way to spend a few hours on a night in.

7. Organise Your Computer

There’s plenty to organise and “clean up” on the average computer – from deleting old documents, to clearing out an email inbox, and even doing work on your social and professional profiles. Gizmo’s Freeware is a good place to find the best free software that’s usually on par or better than commercial offerings. Often, once you get going with this kind of project, you’ll be at it for hours. So don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate!

8. Meditate

Meditation isn’t for everybody, but for those who enjoy it or practice it regularly, a weekend night in is the perfect opportunity. You can meditate for all sorts of reasons: to help clear your mind; to alleviate stress; to increase productivity – all very positive things for a busy student.

9. Read For Pleasure

Many university students miss the freedom to read for pleasure! Often, curriculum reading and work occupies so much time that it’s just too tough to delve into a novel for entertainment purposes. A night in by yourself, however, gives you just the chance you need to read something you enjoy.

10. Organise Your Room

Finally, you can also take the time to set up your room. From hanging new posters, to cleaning up clutter, to simply rearranging things, this can be a great way to make yourself feel productive, and to get more comfortable in your surroundings.

What do you like to do when you have a night in?