5 Tips & Tricks to Help You Deal With a Crazy Schedule

For most us collegiettes, midterms have arrived, the semester is halfway over and the number of projects, tests and responsibilities you might have is enough to make your head spin. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with the craziness, but here are five foolproof tips and tricks that always help me escape the fire with minimal damage:

1. Write EVERYTHING Down

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Back in middle school, and even high school, I managed to remember all my assignments and when they were due, only missing one or two a year. Those simple times have, unfortunately, stayed in the past; with college, your life becomes much more hectic as you try to balance academics, extracurricular activities, friends and whatever you choose to do for fun. Don’t screw yourself over and assume you will remember everything. You know what happens when you assume.

There is a very easy solution to keeping track of everything: Write it down! Whether you choose to use a planner, a wall of sticky notes, a cork board, a pen and the back of your hand or whatever else you can come up with is up to your preference, but writing your responsibilities down is actually scientifically proven to help you remember to do them.

2. Make a Schedule

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After you write everything down, you might get a little overwhelmed at the sheer amount of items that are now on your to-do list, it might benefit you to make a schedule. Go through your written lists and figure out when each item needs to be completed. Then, make a whole new list in the order of when your things need to get done. You’ll be able to take a nice deep breath when you realize that not everything is due at once and, yes, you do have time to go see that movie you wanted to see and still complete that homework assignment before midnight.

If you want to get really intense with it, you can do what I did junior year finals week, and not only create a schedule of when things are due but also create a schedule of when to do them. It might sound like a lot, but I promise you it’s super helpful and actually forces you to keep yourself on track.

3. Make Sure You Take Time for Self-Care, No Matter What That Means to You

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When you’re in the thick of your busiest time of year, it’s too easy to forget to do simple things like eat, take a shower, or even just stop for a minute to give your brain a break. No one can actually work non-stop without going mad, so whenever you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off, it’s incredibly important to make sure you take time for some self-care. Self-care comes in many forms — maybe it’s eating one of your favorite meals, or going for a walk, or playing with your pet, or taking a hot shower—and not one form is invalid.

A tired brain is not going to help you be productive, so please be sure to take a few minutes every few hours and do a little self-check-in. Have I eaten enough today? Have I talked to friends? Have I showered in the last forty-eight hours?  They may seem like dumb questions, but seriously, it’s worth it to take 15 minutes and give yourself a break. Your brain and the quality of your work will thank you for it.

4. SLEEP

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It is so easy to look at a crazy schedule and decide you’re not going to sleep in order to get stuff done. DON’T DO IT! Sleep is just as important to your system as eating, and there is absolutely no way your crazy schedule is going to get any less crazy when you are sleep deprived and can’t see ten feet in front of your own face.

Even if you can only spare a couple hours for a nap you go take that nap.  Instead of doing a full all-nighter, go to sleep at 4 a.m. and wake up at 7 a.m. to finish studying. Plus, it’s been proven that sleeping helps the things you were just studying solidify in your memory, so it’s not only to benefit those quickly growing dark circles.

5. Have a Support System

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Going through a hard time is stressful enough by itself let alone trying to go through it alone. Having a support system around you whether it’s friends, family, roommates or even your cat boosts morale and helps you get through the day without feeling defeated.

Don't be afraid to ask for some support either. If you’re having a bad day, if you’re feeling like your schedule in front of you is going to lead you to your death, text your friend and ask for some positive words (or go one step better and ask for pics of their gorgeous puppy; I have done this and it does indeed work). There’s nothing wrong with needing a little boost to help you get through the day, and if your friends really are your friends they will have no problem giving you that positivity you deserve.