The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As the fall semester has begun and we are getting into our new schedules that, now, involve classes, it’s very easy to feel defeated by the complexity of one’s schedule. As a result, our daily routines feel rushed and uncoordinated, leading to more stressors. So hopefully, these 8 tips will assist you if you are struggling with keeping a routine that fits your individual needs.
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”Mike Murdock
1.) Planner/google Calendar
With classes, on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs, clubs, sports, extra-curriculars, and social events, your schedule can begin to look overwhelming. A great way to get a better picture for what you are dealing with this semester and for what adjustments you might need to make, is by using a planner and/or some sort of monthly calendar layout. I personally recommend Google Calendar. With a physical planner, you are able to physically write down your schedule and map out your daily responsibilities and tasks. Google Calendar lets you color code your schedule, as well as personalize repeated events (things like weekly classes, meetings, job shifts, etc), and personally, I find this feature immensely useful because I am able to save time putting in repeated events.
2.) Meal Planner
Unhealthy eating in college can lead to lower grades, illness, fatigue, and other negative side effects to your personal and academic life. Planning your meals looks different for everyone and their personal needs. Whether it’s designing your own intricate menu with food set out for three meals a day every week, or just writing down your dinner plans for the entire week with home cooked meals incorporated into it. Planning meals is beneficial for college students, as it can assist in time management, unhealthy eating habits, as well as money. You will know your dinner plans ahead of time, instead of ordering pizza at 11 pm right before bed because you suddenly remembered you hadn’t eaten anything since noon. With a meal plan, you will not only have more time dedicated to more important things on your agenda, but you will create a balanced diet for yourself and spend less money eating out.
3.) Visual display of monthly/weekly goals
Many of us are visual learners, and as a result, need visual reminders of our goals in order to better pursue them. Writing your goals down provides motivation, as well as something to keep you focused on more important activities. When you have a goal, you create a metaphorical destination to your daily activities and work toward your personal finish line.
4.) Remember: Set Smaller Goals
Many of us will begin our semester with elaborate plans to get straight A’s, go to the gym everyday, eat three healthy meals a day, and get 8+ hours of sleep, and quickly become discouraged when overwhelmed of the unrealistic expectations we have set up for ourselves. Remember, the tortoise wins the race because it takes its time and the hare loses because it starts too quickly. It is easier to increase your goal expectations than decreasing them, so make sure to give yourself enough room to grow.
5.) Keep Yourself Accountable (or invite a friend to help)
Routines are only really beneficial to us individually, but we can invite others in our daily routines as a way to keep ourselves accountable. Having a gym buddy provides someone else to motivate you to stay on track of your schedule and keeps you focused while studying for class. Other people that know our agendas and objectives can push us to see these good habits through and keep consistency. Chances are, a friend of yours is looking for ways to stay on track of their routines as well. Reach out!
6.) Give Yourself Self Care Breaks
As college students, we can easily neglect our personal health, whether through not sleeping or indulging in our personal habits that we simply enjoy. A key principle to a balanced and manageable routine is incorporating self care into it and not forsaking your personal needs. Self care is different for everyone. Going for a walk. Taking a relaxing bath instead of a shower. Coloring. Meditation. Extra sleep. Reading. Spending time alone. All of these are examples of “different” in action, but “similar” in the sense that they all focus on putting time and attention into yourself. Taking the time to maintain self care in your routine has many benefits including better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being, while also helping to prevent burnout. It is important to find out your daily emotional needs and important to find out how self care can help you and which form of self care to integrate into your life.
7.) Make it Fun!
I, as well as many, can get bored with routines, which is why the idea of daily routines can seem daunting to some. However, routines are as fun as you make them. Hence why you are in charge of it. If you are an artistic person, you can design your routines by hand, making them in your own art style. If your art skills are to be desired (I can relate), you can use other resources, such as Canva, which is a graphic design platform that includes templates users can use. Their templates are sleek, fun, and can be personalized by you, so you can make it your very own.
8.) Make it Yours!
You are unique, and as a result, your routine is tailored specifically to you, so it should reflect just that. You can create your own brand and live it. You know yourself and what keeps your focus and attention and what doesn’t. Trial and error can happen, but you’ll eventually find rhythm in your daily life through your routine, setting yourself up for success.