How to Handle Your Busy Schedule

How to Handle Your Busy Schedule

Tips for your hectic week.
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We all reach that point in our lives where we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Too much to do, far too little time. My time in college so far has been jam packed with class, clubs, homework, projects and more. There are times when I go a little crazy and feel overwhelmed with so much to do. Rather than let myself drown in all the work, I looked for ways to find peace in the midst of the chaos. Here are some tips on how to handle a busy schedule:

1. Prioritize

You can’t tackle every task at once. Prioritize your responsibilities. They may change depending on what you have going on at the time. Making sure that your work is handled in order of deadlines and/or personal importance will help you get through an overwhelming amount of work.


2. Organize


If you have a lot going on, organization is key. Make a schedule of everything you’ll be doing. Start with the daily tasks such as class and work shifts, and then add on other things such as weekly club meetings or volunteer schedules. Excel and Outlook are great programs for making personal schedules. Just having a physical schedule can make all the difference. You’re less likely to double book yourself or otherwise compromise your already busy schedule. A personal schedule will also help you plan time to complete homework assignments, group projects, study time and personal activities such as exercise or blog writing. Another way to organize is with a planner. Planners are my best friend. They’re great for having everything all together in a convenient location. There’s no excuse for forgetting or overlooking something if you have it in your planner.


3. Reinforce What Needs to Get Done

If you’re anything like me, you tend to forget things. You could give me an important task to complete, and I can forget it within a few minutes of walking away. To combat this, I write everything down…multiple times. Everything goes into two different planners, a big calendar, and on post-its that are stuck on my wall for good measure. Reinforcing your to-dos for the day/week will encourage you to get them done and over with.


4. Know Your Limits


It’s great to be involved and to be active, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you already have a full plate, be careful of signing up for anything more. There may be something you really want to be involved in, but can’t because of prior commitments, and that’s okay. Don’t exhaust yourself, because eventually, you will feel the impact (probably midterms and finals week). You may even want to analyze your current schedule if you’re feeling impossibly overwhelmed. Maybe that one class just isn’t working for you this semester; maybe you need to delegate more responsibility among your club members so you don’t have so much to do yourself. It’s important to be cautious of just how much you’re doing.

5. Take a Break

Sometimes we start something and we don’t want to stop until it’s done. That’s not a bad mentality to have, but on some occasions, it’s better to take a break. Sometimes, when you walk away from the task at hand and return to it refreshed, you see things clearly and suddenly, it doesn’t seem so impossible to finish.


6. Utilize Your Support System

Your family and close circle of friends are there for you. If you ever feel like you’re drowning, talk to someone you can trust. Don’t be afraid of being a bother, your loved ones want to help! And if they’re just as busy as you, chances are they’ll relate to what you’re feeling and you can support each other. If there’s any way someone in your support system can help you get things done, don’t turn away the help. Having someone help you with research, making a phone call, or running an errand or two for you can make a world of a difference.


7. Make Time for Yourself


Sometimes we are so caught up in getting things done and meeting all the deadlines, that we neglect ourselves. Make sure you take time out to relax. An hour, 30 minutes, even 15 minutes can make all the difference in your day. During this time, do something that makes you happy or calms you. Take a nap, read a book, write, color, play guitar, play a video game, whatever it is that will keep you in a good mood. If you know you’ll have a long weekend in the future, plan ahead so you can have some real leisure time. If you’re always focused on all the things that need to be done, you’ll slowly forget to make time for yourself, and that can have dangerous consequences. It’s all about balance.


Keep in mind that these are just tips. They’re not a sure-fire way to avoid the craziness of life; they’re ways to help you through it. Yes, there will still be times you feel overwhelmed, I still struggle with it regularly. Just remember, you’re not alone and you WILL get through it!



Cover Image Credit: Flickr.com

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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The Most Important Things I've Learned From Taking Philosophy

The biggest takeaways that I have collected from my time in my Philosophy class.

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When registering for classes for Fall 2018, I found myself drawn to Philosophy 126: Mind, Brain, Self & Evolution. I figured the class would give me the opportunity to perform a lot of introspection during my first semester at college while also helping me fulfill some General Education requirements, and I couldn't have been more right. I've never had the pleasure of taking a class with such a loose agenda and the freedom to discuss every aspect of the information we are learning. That said, there have been a few major takeaways from this class.

First is the idea that you are not the sum of your parts, but the sum of your parts and the parts of everyone around you. Most people have heard the overused quote "It takes a village to raise a child," but this idea couldn't be more than true. We subconsciously pull so many of our habits, preferences, etc. from the people around us that we ultimately grow to become a community within ourselves, and there is something truly beautiful about that. It takes a village to raise a child to become a village.

Second, I've learned how important it is to understand that if some big philosophical or psychological or physical problem has not been solved yet, there is rarely going to be one solution to it. Millions of years of group thought have placed us in the intellectual shoes we are in, and yet we still question every day what our "purpose" is. There are thousands of theories and possible answers to this question, but who's to say that they aren't all correct? Some aspects of life are just too subjective to be answered objectively.

Lastly is the separation between gaining knowledge and experiential learning. Both are arguably equal in their significance, but we don't truly think about how immensely different the two concepts are until we are forced to. In philosophy, there is a theory centered around this experimental design called "Mary's Room." The story is that a woman named Mary has lived in a black and white room her whole life but has grown up learning everything about color and the human reaction to it (biologically, psychologically, etc.).

Once the door to her room is opened and she sees the color red for the first time, she has just learned something new despite already knowing everything there is to know about the concept of color. Experience is the most important part of the human condition and should not be disregarded when it comes to learning.

There are so many aspects of our existence that we never consider on a daily basis simply because we don't have to. There is something unique about people who are in touch with themselves spiritually: they have a greater understanding not just of who they are, but of who they are in relation to the rest of the world. In a fast-paced, Type A world it is especially easy to lose sight of the importance of experiencing humanity, and we often take this beautiful gift for granted.

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