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Forming a Routine and Sticking to It: A How-To Guide

Are you having trouble sticking to routines? Are assignments, clubs, jobs, and other commitments tearing you apart? How are you supposed to balance everything thrown at you while keeping time to yourself?


Well, it’s actually not as hard as you’d believe it to be! Keeping healthy habits can definitely guarantee your success, especially during a time when staying inside is more important than ever. Here are some helpful tips to keep you de-stressed and motivated:


Forming a Schedule


Keeping a daily, or even weekly tab of objectives can ensure that you don’t forget about any event or assignment. I like to keep tabs on things after I become aware of them. For example, if I find out on Monday that I have an assignment due on Friday night, I’ll write it down somewhere that I know I’ll see throughout the week. I keep these big whiteboard stickers on my wall right above my desk so they are the first thing I see when I sit down, and they remind me of things that I may have forgotten about. Then I can cross off assignments I finish, erase it all at the end, and start again during the next week!


You can also find fun ways to keep track of everything. You can buy a planner or journal and make it colorful and bright, or if you’re more like me and don’t have time for that, even writing things down on the notes app on your phone can help keep you on track.


Another way to properly manage your time is by setting aside different dates to do certain things. If I have an event on Thursday night after my classes, I’ll set time aside on Friday to work on other assignments.


Sleeping Regularly


Along with forming and keeping a daily schedule, it is SO important to have a good sleeping schedule. Especially as a college student, sleeping well can determine whether or not you have a good day. I know it sounds hypocritical for me to say this, as college students are notorious for pulling all-nighters, but even a small amount of sleep is better than none. Plus, who knows? If you are able to keep your routine, you won’t have to pull as many all-nighters and will be able to get the sleep you need.


I don’t just speak for myself when I say that sleep is such a valued and important part of my life. After all, there is a reason that everyone enjoys naps! It’s important to listen to your biological clock and go to sleep when you need to, even if you have work to do. Taking a nap can leave you feeling refreshed and can improve your work to a higher level than before you went to sleep. 


Forgiving Yourself When You Mess Up


Of course, there are always going to be times when you are unable to stick to your routine exactly as planned. You may not feel good or just be too busy for it, and that’s perfectly fine! We all need downtime, and the ability to relax is needed now more than ever. If you find yourself stuck on an assignment, take a small break, get a snack, or practice a fun self-care routine to get yourself back on track. Odds are, if you’re constantly feeling stuck, you might just be hungry!


It’s also super important to not beat yourself up when things aren’t completed when or how you’d like. Nothing can ever truly be perfect, so stop expecting yourself to be! The first step to getting back on track is forgiving yourself and letting go. Soon enough, you’ll be back to crushing assignments and giving your best at events. 


So whether you’re currently keeping a routine or starting a new one, just know that you aren’t committed to it! You can always add different things to switch it up and add some change to your life. Now get that routine set and have fun with it!

Hannah Hodgdon is a second-year Illustration major at Rochester Institute of Technology. She enjoys art, baking, and writing. In her free time, Hannah can be found drawing or watching YouTube. Hannah is excited to write for the RIT HerCampus chapter!
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