When we’re in high school, our to-do lists are very short: Go to school, do your homework, attend any extracurriculars and shower (in any order).
However, if you go to college out of town, your to-do list multiplies by a thousand. You no longer have your parents to help run errands for you or schedule your appointments. Suddenly, you’re really on your own. You have to juggle all of that in between running to classes, maybe working at your internship or a part-time job and doing homework. Oh yeah, and at some point socializing with your friends.
It can be rough to get it all done, but it is possible. Even though all of those errands are staring you down, you will have to get over the stress of it all and take action. Don’t let the stress win!
Here are my tips to finding the time (and energy) to getting it all done.
Make a list and stick to it
Some people like the feeling of writing a list by hand and being able to cross things off of it when they are done with them. Others can get by with just typing their to-do list in the notes app on their iPhones. Whatever your style is, make sure to keep it all in one place and bring it with you everywhere. That way, if something comes up, you’ll be able to write it down on your list and from swirling around in your mind.
Make time for it all
As fun as it is to sit on your butt on Sunday and watch Netflix all day, you may have to run an errand or two in order to get it all done. Think about it this way: A little running around now could prevent a whole lot of stress and exhaustion later on.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
Figure out what’s most important and do that first. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that any health appointments (be it doctor, dentist or therapist) get taken care of first. You’ve got to take care of yourself or you will get yourself in trouble later on! Next on your list will be anything relating to your studies. The order of tasks for extracurriculars and social events can come after that.
Prepare when a stressful week is coming up
A very wise university administrator once said to me that when you know you’re going to have a stressful week, make sure your laundry is done beforehand. I didn’t really understand that then, but I really understand it now. The best way to prevent unnecessary stress is to take care of pesky chores so that if something unexpected comes up, you’ll be ready to roll with the punches.
Don’t freak out
If something doesn’t go according to plan and you don’t get everything accomplished when you want it to, let it roll off your shoulders. You can’t change the past, so don’t worry about it. Figure out when you’ll be able to complete the task instead and stop worrying about it. You don’t need the extra stress!