Life is busy. I know this isn’t a new statement to anyone reading this. Scheduling is especially hard for college students, who have to budget time for class, homework, extra curricular’s, a job or internship, and being social. Still, I know this isn’t a new sentiment to anyone. I’ve heard it a million times, and I deal with it in my own life. Looking at my schedule every week can automatically make me nervous.
“How am I going to get all of this done?” Is something I thought often at the beginning of the semester, and it’s something I still worry about, on occasion. I know others feel this stress too. But being busy is a good problem to have, and a good habit to develop. It can lead to other positive habits that help success, like making your bed in the morning and improving your diet. But when the stress hits, there are three ‘musts’ that I keep in mind that keep me (partially) sane.
1. Learn to say “no”
Saying no is hard. Especially when what you’re saying “no” to is something you want to say “yes” to. Fear of missing out on opportunities because of the ‘no’ is also very real . But there comes a point when you can’t take everything on that you’re offered.
Here’s a way to consider this. Ask yourself “will I gain or develop any skills from this?” Is there anything you would get from the new role you were offered or club you’re interested in? If the answer is no, it probably isn’t worth your time.
2. Make time to do nothing
This is easier said than done. Even if it’s fifteen minutes of a break, make sure to try to do it. Overloading on work every moment can quickly burn you out, and decrease the quality of what you’re doing. So, take a break. Whether it’s a walk, reading a book, watching TV, surfing the internet or just laying in bed, do it. For your sanity.
Just make sure that this doesn’t take over your time that is supposed to be spent completing other things. One TV show can quickly turn into seven, and there goes all the time you had set aside to do homework or make dinner.
3. Make priorities known
Sometimes this can just be making priorities known to you. Make a list of what is the most important to complete on your list of responsibilities and what needs the most time. In three clubs? Make sure you know which of the three requires the most time, and how much it matters to you if you attend, as well as how invested you’re willing to be.
It’s okay to have something that you know isn’t as important to you. Just because it isn’t number one on the list doesn’t mean you have to eliminate it from your arsenal of activities, either. Simply cutting back time can be enough to reevaluate your role, and you can spend this time on those things you ‘prioritize’ more.