Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How To: Make Time For Things You Don't Have Time For

It's crunch time. 

You know. That time in the semester when all of your teachers decided to give you tests. You are scrambling trying to find a summer internship, or worse, a real life job. Spring break is over, so all motivation flew out the window after that, and you wish you were still on a beach. 

It's all little bit overwhelming. And that's just about how I've felt since Day 1 of this semester. I've had to make a few huge changes to my schedule, priorities, and over all time management. I've also had to make some pretty big sacrifices. 

I've by no means got this figured out, and if you know me, you know that is 100% not the case. I spend most of my time still running around like a crazy person. But lately I've found a way to do that but still not feel like I'm drowning. (For the first time all year.) So I figured I'd share the best ways I've been able to keep my head above during this crazy time.

ONE | Know your priorities
Sometimes when we get all caught up in the length of our "to-do" lists we tend to forget what actually matters most. And that's totally different for different people. For me, most of the time school isn't my top priority. Yes. I said it. But I know that it still has value. You just have to be able to take a step back and see what's actually the most important thing to get done at that moment. Really take some time to think about this, though. What really matters the most to you?

TWO | Write everything down
I literally cannot stress this enough. We all think we will remember that we have plans with a friend or a quick meeting... Until you've made your schedule for the day and it dawns on you that you've forgotten it. Put it in your calendar, set a reminder, make a note, write it on your hand. Put it down somewhere you know you will see it. It will save you so much struggle. I promise. The Busy Cal app has saved my life more than a few times this semester.

THREE | Don't be scared to fail
This one has been difficult for me this semester. I reached a point in late January where I knew that I had to drop something in my life or I was actually going to fail at everything. This terrified me. I hated that feeling. But it's something you've got to learn at some point or another. I realized that I can't be everything to everyone all time time. I had to make sacrifices and I had to realize that maybe everything I do this semester won't be the greatest thing I've ever done, but, by golly, it was my best effort.

FOUR | Know your limitations
This is so key to surviving when the list of "to-do" items reaches the point of no return and then someone asks you to add something to it. Sometimes you have to say no. Even if it's something important. Saying no is something that has to happen from time to time. It is vital that you do this? Do you really have time for this? And sometimes you really do have to take a step back and ask what's in it for YOU? Think about all these things and how far you can push yourself and make a good decision, not a rash one.

FIVE | Learn the value of sleep
Good Lord. I used to be able to run on no sleep with no problem. I also got to sleep in until 10 every day. That is no longer a thing. And now I constantly feel like I've been run over by a truck, which is no fun when you are trying to work and not waste space. I can still function on less sleep than some people, but I've finally found a system that works for me. If you know you need a certain amount of sleep to look alive, get that amount of sleep. The worst feeling is that total exhaustion because you procrastinated and had to stay up all night working on something. Plan ahead and plan for sleep. Seriously. Try it.

SIX | Have fun
We all take ourselves too seriously these days. Yes, finding a job, and doing well in school, and paying bills are all very important. But have some fun, y'all. Let loose a little bit. I struggled with this terribly my sophomore and junior years of college. I was so "career driven" that I didn't make any time for my friends. And I became somewhat miserable. For some people this only means having lunch with friends and catching up. For others this is going out on the weekends and dancing on tables with friends. Whatever floats your boat, make time for it. Don't neglect what makes life fun just because you think you need to get ahead. Nobody wants to hire someone that's miserable. Remember that.

These six things have honestly gotten me through so many things this semester every time I feel like I'm going to hit rock bottom. Any time you hit the panic button, take a minute and think about these things and what is important to you and go from there.

How do you handle crunch time? What keeps you sane?

xoxo, jgp

1 comment:

  1. I really love these tips! I find that when I write things down, I'm more apt to remember them. I think prioritizing what's most important is the hardest part for me. I just get so side-tracked that I want to do everything at once! And my sleeping schedule has gone way out of whack. I need to get that in check.