If you are anything like me then you are consistently over prepared. You are always 20-30 minutes early to events, you set an excessive amount of alarms on your phone and sometimes the idea of forgetting something or being late wakes you up in the middle of the night. Fear not, I have been dealing with these obsessive tendencies for awhile now and I have some tips on how to deal with the rushing mind and body.
Buy and keep a well-organized planner.
I cannot express enough how much my planner saves my life. I suggest getting a large, daily planner that also has a small full 30 day calendar in the front of each month (pictured below). This way, especially during the school year, I have the ability to write small events and meetings in the full calendar while keeping track of my coursework and work schedule every single day. Having a planner makes sure that no event or assignment goes unplanned and you can breath knowing that you prepared for everything that’s coming your way.
Set urgent alarms on your phone.
If there is a test/exam that you are really concerned about or an event that you’re sure you are going to forget, set extra alarms on your phone. Technology is a beautiful thing, so use it to your advantage and as a reminder system. My phone gives me the ability to set alarms and write a short description by each of them. Make your descriptions as detailed as possible so that you know exactly what you set this alarm for. Set multiple throughout the day if it is a night event or something of high importance, trust me these alarms are lifesavers in times of fast paced days.
Bring a book, headphones or something to distract yourself when you are early.
For those times when you are a half hour early to an event, bring something to distract you from being anxious about it. Some people may believe that there is nothing to worry about as long as you are not late but we both know that is just not true. It feels awkward to sit there with nothing to do for 30 minutes by yourself. You become more aware of how out of place you may seem, sitting by yourself on a bench for an extended period of time so bring something that takes you out of that element while you wait. Whether it be your journal/pocket planner, a book or simply your headphones to play Spotify any distraction can help these minutes breeze by so that you do not feel worried about being so early.
Finally, tell your friends about the way that your mind works.
You know as well as I do that when you become accustomed to being early frequently; when people are late it drives you insane. Though you cannot change the way that others act, make sure that you let your friends know that when carpooling or hanging out that you tend to be early. No friend wants to be shocked to see you 20 minutes before they originally planned or watch you squirm in your seat as the minutes tick by. Let your friends know how you feel and what makes you the most comfortable in the situation. Most friendships draw importance on comfort and making sure that everyone in the situation is happy so do not feel like a burden on your friends when you tell them about your little quirk. It will be important moving forward for you and for them that you explain your perpetually earliness and organization.
You are the only person who truly knows what goes on inside your brain and it is up to you to take that by the reins and guide yourself through everyday life. By using organization, technology and conversation to your advantage you will be able to strengthen your confidence in yourself as well as your memory. If you suffer from over preparedness, do not push yourself around and do not feel like an anchor instead use your ability to look forward as a way to help structure your life in the way that you need it to be and in the end make yourself feel more comfortable.
In the end, it is better to be over prepared and early than under prepared and late, right?