It's that time of year when your new year's resolutions are falling through and the overwhelming feeling of battling second semester and all the perks that come with it are starting to kick in. You may be drowning in homework, extracurricular activities, work, spending time with friends and all the other college festivities. Sound familiar?
When life seems to be going 60 miles per hour in a 45-speed limit zone, it can be hard to stay organized and keep track of your priorities. Maybe your sticky notes aren't cutting it when it comes to creating to-do lists, or perhaps your work schedule and campus event dates are colliding. Whatever it is, now is the perfect time to try out these tried-and-true ways to stay organized and conquer the rest of the semester and whatever follows.
Mornings, for me at least, are the most productive time of the day. I get so much more done by waking up early. Plus, when night time rolls around, I can enjoy a relaxing evening with no stress. I highly suggest waking up an hour earlier than you normally do because hey, that's one less hour you have to stay up late working on assignments or all the other things you procrastinated doing.
Keeping the morning theme going, there's no better time to plan out your day and think of some goals you want to achieve. For me, I like to check my inbox, get my backpack ready for class and write out the day's to-do list. This acts as a reminder for the times when it feels like my day is all over the place and I am in need of a little structure.
I don't know about you, but if I am stressed or overwhelmed after a full day of being gone from my dorm, the last thing I want to do is walk into a messy environment. Looking at a pile of clothes or desk drawers overflowing with crap can cause my work motivation to become invisible. Knowing where to find everything allows me to move about my day and complete what needs to be done in a more fast and efficient way.
Finding a good planner not only allows you to visually see and plan out your months, weeks and days, but it also helps you with time management and can improve your productivity. In college, especially with a busy schedule, my planner is basically my life line and I take it with me everywhere. I don't know how I could get through school, and life in general, without a planner. I definitely recommend purchasing and using one if you don't already.
Something I learned throughout high school and my 1st semester of college is to prioritize your time wisely. By identifying what needs to be done and what can wait till later is the first step. Balancing your time and thinking ahead can make a huge impact on your day-to-day life and really help yourself out in the long run.
The best thing to do when you have a busy week ahead of you and are trying to find a balance is to create the right mindset. Going into a stressful situation with a positive mindset can be a game changer. Focus on the present and turn your failures into lessons.
When there are days where it feels like you have an infinite number of unread emails, this is when starring them comes into handy. I always tend to look at my inbox when I am on the go and don't have time to read through them all. Starring them allows you to create a mental reminder to go back and look when you have time.
If you were to look at my planner right now, you would think I am crazy. I plan out my week in advance on Sunday nights and highlight important tasks that pop up during the week. Color coding is a great way to show balance and separate certain tasks from one another. Having a few colored pens doesn't hurt and will definitely add a bit of structure to your week's plans.
Taking breaks from completing tasks is totally okay, but if it comes to a point where your day is wasted by looking at a phone screen, something needs to be done to fix it. With technology being an easy distraction, it can be hard to get work done. Instead, set a timer or shut your phone off when you are on your work grind.
When you feel unorganized and unmotivated, it is important to stop and take time for yourself. Whether that be applying a face mask, watching your favorite series on Netflix or treating yourself to a coffee on campus, it is important that before continuing all your hard work, you take time to let yourself and your health come first.