Oh yes, time management. That skill that you lost over the summer. Whether or not you were ready to start back up again no longer matters because, unfortunately, we are deep into that back-to-school grind once again. So as you frantically piece together what’s left of your procrastination skills from last spring, I’m here to tell you that it’s OK! I am right there with you, still trying to read through the syllabi from week one. That being said, even if your first few weeks didn’t go as planned, here are some time-management tips that will help you start your semester off strong.
The art of Procrastination
It never ceases to amaze me the things I find myself doing instead of my homework. Who knew that my room was so messy at 1:00 a.m.? Or that I needed to change my outfit 10 times throughout the day? In fact, this article that I’m writing right now is a fantastic way to put off the mountains of homework sitting in my backpack. Can you relate? That’s ok, because there are two things that can help change the unhealthy pattern of turning in homework at 11:58 p.m. every night: a planner and accountability. First, a planner. I know everyone lives that G-Cal (Google Calendar) life now, but I swear writing everything down by hand is super helpful. That way it’s all in one place instead of swirling around in your brain, and checking off boxes is really fun. :) Second, accountability! I cannot stress this enough. With your friends, family, some random classmate, whoever! You are way more likely to do it (and do it on time) if you tell someone about it. Even if they aren’t listening, YOU think they know and trust me, nothing makes me work faster than fear of judgement from others.
Out of sight, Out of Mind
You need to THROW YOUR PHONE! Dramatic? Yes. However, in my case I have found that it’s the only way I can tear my eyes away from the screen. Every notification is addicting and social media is a rabbit hole that I will fall through forever if I let myself. While I’ve had TikTok deleted for months now, I will find myself scrolling through Venmo transactions if it means putting off my homework. My recommendation? The only way that you won’t pick up your phone is to get it out of sight. Throw it across the room, hide it behind your laptop, or (in the case of my roommate) give it to someone random sitting next to you in class. It works. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a phrase that rings TRUE when it comes to your phone! However, I am not liable if you crack your screen.
FOMO at it’s finest
Finally, the word that no student likes to hear, and that’s “balance.” I know we think we’ve got it all figured out, but every year fall comes around and I know I am suddenly overwhelmed by the overpacked schedule that I made! Especially in college where FOMO runs rampant and every new friendship feels like it’s going to fall apart if you aren’t always available. It’s super important that you find a healthy routine and take time for yourself. That means going to bed early when you know you have early practice, taking time for yourself when you feel stressed out, and, unfortunately, sometimes saying “no” to things you want to go to. As difficult as that is, it’s necessary to live a healthy life. I promise, your new best friends won’t forget about you because you stayed home to study one night that week. School, sports, clubs, new friends—it all feels overwhelming, but balance is possible if you make it a priority.
It’s ok to not be ok
Remember, even though you’re a few weeks in, you’re still in a time of transition. It’s ok to not be prepared for your routine to start up again. Continue to give yourself some grace and try to enjoy it, because the fall time won’t be back-to-school season forever.