How I Manage My Busy Schedule + Advice

Hi, my name is Joy and if you don't know me, you don't know that I am always juggling 10 things at once. This semester I decided to do what I did last semester but add a kicker: work 60+, take 5.5 units (including an internship) and juggle daily life. Now, this is simply what I must do not only graduate a year early but to meet future financial goals. To preface, I love my job and it works well with my college schedule by allowing me plenty of time to study. Here is how I am able to manage and keep some sanity: 

  1. 1. Planning Ahead of Time

    I cannot STRESS this enough. I write down all of my class assignments and due dates in my agenda and try to get them done on the weekend or a couple of days in advance. The idea of completing assignments on the weekend may not sound fun but honey, the PEACE you feel later in the week knowing you already got it done...nothing compares! I highly recommend breaking a large project into small assignments and creating due dates for yourself. If you get an assignment, do it as quickly as possible after you understand what is being asked of you. Often I will work on an assignment that I think will be stressful, days in advance. As the due date approaches I edit, review, and then submit. I purchased my agenda from Marshalls, they have a wide selection and they are relatively affordable. 

  2. 2. Accountability

    I find it is helpful to tell family and friends of assignments or tasks I need to complete so they hold me accountable and serve as a reminder. Often I will want to spend extra time with my partner, friends, and family but they understand the importance of school and will deny my request to help me stay on top of my game. 

  3. 3. Remembering why I am doing it

    I try not to spread myself too thin. I do enjoy having a lot of things on my plate because otherwise, I do not feel as though I am getting anything done. I like always having something to do, it helps to keep me from becoming too lazy. By taking 5.5 courses, I will have fewer classes to take next semester and will be graduating a year early, which is saving money in the long run. As far as working 60+ hours, my job is the best I have ever had in the sense that there is plenty of flexibility. The money I am earning is also a very nice plus on my journey to financial freedom. 

  4. 4. Rewarding Myself

    For all of my hard work, I treat myself to mini shopping sprees, relaxation, and my favorite foods. I love acai bowls and bubble tea for my little desserts so I may get a hard assignment done and reward myself that way. I love getting massages but only get those every once in a while, they can be very expensive so I save those for the beginning, middle, and/or end of the semester. Rewards do not always have to cost money, simply going out on a walk listening to a podcast on Spotify around your neighborhood can be just as fun. I enjoy watching Youtube videos or watching a tv show/movie to treat myself after a long day of studying. 

  5. 5. StayFocused App

    This app not only tracks the amount of time you spend on an app but also blocks access to those apps with your permission. You can set a time limit for your chosen app, the number of usages, and more. I found myself spending hours on TikTok every day and the app helped me realize just how much time I spent on TikTok and how much of a distraction it was becoming. I recommend either putting away your phone while getting assignments done or getting an app like Stay Focused. 

    Side Note: I did try the Pomodoro method and love it so far; work for 25 minutes or so and take 5-minute breaks and you keep doing that continuously. I recommend watching 'elloitsangela' on Youtube if you want to have a study "buddy" but also want to study alone. 

Now my schedule and life do not work for many people. It can be stressful for those who like to have one thing to focus on such as school, work, or family. I encourage you to write down everything you do each day and try to rearrange your schedule in a way that helps reduce stress and create flexibility. Perhaps the schedule you have now works for you or perhaps not. I recommend a planner, Google Calendar, and the Stay Focused app. Best of luck!