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Stop Spreading Yourself Thin and Create Your Own Time Budget

Classes are in full swing, you have three major assignments due each week, and you’re involved in four organizations- not to mention that on-campus job you just started. It’s no surprise that you are feeling a little bit burnt out and spread too thin. The good news is that you can budget your time the same way you budget money, and believe me it will make your life easier. 

First, you need to get your involvements in order. Figure out your own means of time organization. You could buy a super cute planner to color-coordinate your plans. You could utilize a google-calendar to quickly see your week. You could grab a white board and write out all of your events, commitments, and weekly assignments. You could also just make daily or weekly to-do lists. I personally like to make to-do lists in my notes, ipad, and on a big white board with dates. I like having access to time items no matter what I am looking at and I always add dates so I can prioritize what I need to do. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter how you choose to organize. Make sure it works for your brain (quick tip: lots of people find planners useless and that’s okay). Get organized and identify the w’s. When is it? Why is it important?  Where can I complete it? What’s the commitment? 

Next, figure out how you can set yourself up for success. Are there small tasks you can do in between big time commitments? Is there a way for you to multitask? Can you make dinner or pick your clothes ahead of time? The biggest key to success is to come up with your own system of success. For example, I like to only cook a couple times a week in bulk because it’s easier for me to have meals ready to warm up and eat (doing this frees up like 3-4 hours in my week). This one is silly but I messily make my bed every morning so I feel like my room is cleaner. I also organize my time in what will take long or is harder to make myself to do, like 2 hours of microbiology homework, and smaller or more fun tasks, like writing for Her Campus. I sandwich the harder things between the easier ones. Finally, in my plan for success, I choose to multitask when I can. I do homework while I watch TV. I write articles while I eat. I cook dinner while I’m in Zoom meetings. Figure out a plan for success and watch your productivity go through the roof.

Finally, you need to set goals and expectations for yourself. If you are truly feeling burnt out and spread too thin. Something has got to give and it cannot be your sleep, hygiene, or food. It’s okay to prioritize your wellbeing and give up on things that are harming your well being or taking up important time. I invite you to sit down and actually write out your needs (getting 8 hours of sleep), your physical time commitments (class times and meetings), and musts(work or assignments). Really look at the time you have in a day, starting with your needs and going through your musts. Then, decide if you have time for rest or if you are going non-stop. Figure out if anything needs to give.
You are only going to be 20-something right now. This season of life is not forever, and you need to spend some time enjoying it. We are limited on how much money and time we have, but not by the amount of happiness we can enjoy. Make a time budget, be realistic with yourself, and stop spreading yourself too thin.

Jacobi Reynolds is a photographer and senior Pre-medical Biology student at Baylor University. She is from Henrietta, Texas, just south of the Oklahoma and Texas border. When she is not studying or taking photos, she enjoys exploring new places, painting, and spending time with friends and family. Her favorite things are the color pink, dogs, pizza and going to the movies.
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