When it comes to college, I am positive that all college students can agree their schedules become hectic every now and then between homework, campus organizations, events and their social lives). But, the bigger problem students face is how to deal with a hectic schedule. We can’t just get rid of our responsibilities. Believe me; I’ve tried, and it didn’t help at all. The only way to deal with a hectic schedule is to find simple ways to manage your responsibilities. Here are some tips that have helped me maintain my very busy schedule as a college student.
1. Keep a Planner
I put this tip in the first spot for a reason. EVERY COLLEGE STUDENT NEEDS A PLANNER! It doesn’t matter if the planner is a physical book or stored electronically; as long as you can jot down or type your daily tasks, you’ll already feel more organized. I carry a planner that keeps a list of everything that I have to do each day. It helps me remember events that I forget about, because it’s always at my side 24/7.
2. Set an Alarm for Yourself
Every college student knows how hard it is to get up in the morning to start his or her day, especially if he or she has to be at an 8 a.m. class. The best way to overcome this struggle is to not only get some rest but to set an alarm to help you wake up. Personally, I had a professor during my first semester of college that LOVED to assign us homework (it took about three to four hours to complete) the night before her class and expected us there, on time, at 8 a.m. No matter what, I always finished the assignment, got some rest, and made it to her class on time. I was still tired, but I made sure I squeezed in a quick nap somewhere in my schedule.
3. Plan out Your Day in Advance
The best way to stay on top of your hectic schedule is to plan out your next day the night before. If you have room in your planner or somewhere in your phone, make a to-do list that includes your tasks for the day, in order, from the most important to the least important or from the beginning of the day to the end of the day – whatever works for you. I promise that making a plan the night before will benefit you throughout the next day. You will stay organized and will have one less problem to worry about.
4. Learn to Say No
This tip is probably the most important tip to know. IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO. I know there are people (like me) that can’t stand to let people down. Even if they have no place in their schedule to fit in a task, they will still try to do it, because that’s what nice people do. It’s okay to do tasks for other people, but don’t overwhelm yourself with many tasks. It will cause stress, and you won’t be able to complete the responsibilities that you already have for the day. If you know that you can’t do the task, just say no. The person will understand your decision if he or she really knows and respects you.
It’s hard to follow your to-do list. You may be called into work, asked to complete a task by someone or find out about a kickback that’s happening that night. Try to stick to your to-do list. If
you have the time to relax or have fun, then go ahead, but your responsibilities come first. If something happens that is more important than your responsibilities (for example, your friend went into labor), then it’s okay to not follow your to-do list, but stay committed to your schedule as much as you can. Don’t let small distractions keep you from focusing on your responsibilities.
At the end of the day, only YOU know what works best for you. Some students prefer to have many breaks throughout their day, while other students like to pile their tasks on top of each other to avoid boredom (guilty as charge). Either way, how you handle your schedule is up to you; just don’t overwhelm yourself. Give yourself time to take a breather and relax, even if it lasts only a few seconds. It will keep you motivated and energized throughout the rest of your day.