Overworking Yourself: How to Escape the Avalanche

It’s fall! By now you’ve probably taken your first exam, joined a club or two, picked up a part job, and so on. For freshman especially, the fall semester comes with many first experiences, most of them being exciting. However, around this time in the semester with classes intensifying, you might realize that you’re overworking yourself. Being a full-time student is already a hefty task—add multiple clubs and jobs, and priorities become challenging to juggle. Luckily, there are ways to minimize stress and limit yourself to a manageable workload.

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Signs You’re Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Before condensing your workload, it’s important that you can recognize signs that indicate you’re pushing yourself too hard. Hallmark signs include oversleeping, procrastinating, heightened irritability, and feeling more stressed overall. When there’s too much on your plate, you might find it harder to keep up with your work and get enough rest, which often causes irritability. The effects of overworking can be snowballed, and these are dangerous patterns to fall into. If any of these patterns sound familiar, consider cutting down on involvements or being more proactive.

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Cutting Down on Involvements & Smart Planning

You might need to reduce an activity or cut it out altogether if you find yourself overwhelmed. List out all your obligations for each commitment, and list each activity in order of significance. If you notice you’re in multiple clubs that all achieve the same goal, cut one. If you have a job(s), ask to cut down your hours, if that’s an option financially. After assessing all your commitments, the next move is getting organized. Using a planner or calendar is a huge help for organization and preventing procrastination. Strategize daily tasks in writing and check things off as you complete them to keep you accountable, and prevent last-minute stress. Instead of waiting until it’s close to the deadline, try working ahead!

It’s okay to cut down on things, take some time for yourself and reset. It’s easy to get caught up and stack your plate too tall. Scale back and re-assess regularly to avoid falling too deep in bad habits. Stay focused and don’t be scared ask friends, university staff and family for advice. Good luck and keep working hard!