College can be very difficult for most people when it comes to time management. We all sometimes struggle with procrastination, but we also sometimes struggle with putting too much on our plates. Over-scheduling causes anxiety and stress that doesn’t need to be there.
We tend to overuse our planners and calendars to get the most accomplished that we possibly can. While it is true that we should strive to do our very best every day, sometimes overworking ourselves isn’t any better than getting nothing finished at all. We get too stressed out and end up exhausted and begin sacrificing things like our health and our relationships. There are ways to prevent this and still get things done so here are 5 ways to avoid overscheduling
When planning, something that is often overlooked is factoring in breaks. Instead we plan things back to back without realizing that is going to take its toll eventually. Scheduling in 15-20 minute breaks in between things helps prevent having too much on your plate. If you factor these in you are more likely to allow that break to happen and you will be more refreshed to start your next task. It allows for a transition to take place so your mind and body are aware that it is time to begin focusing on something else.
Something else that is sometimes overlooked is knowing when you should do certain tasks. It is common that most people think they have to get up early in the morning and start their day right away. But that isn’t always the case. Knowing when you work best is crucial to completing important tasks. Some people work better in the afternoon, some people are more focused at night, and yes, some people are at their best first thing in the morning. People are different and when they work best is different. Know when you peak during the day because that is when you have the most energy, a more creative attitude, and more focus.
Timing is everything in life. Giving time limits to each task will help avoid procrastination and help you know your limits. Understanding your limits will give you the plan for everything that needs to be accomplished in a realistic manner. Avoid scheduling anymore than you have to because it will cause an overload. Understand that you can’t accomplish everything in one day. You need to plan over several weeks so you know how much time you need to spend on certain tasks. Some things take more than one day to complete.
One of the biggest consequences of overscheduling is feeling rushed. Because you have so much to do you start feeling like you need to have so many things done in a short amount of time. Avoid the urge to multitask. Focus on one task at a time. You will be more focused and driven and are more likely to get that task knocked out. It’s okay if you don’t get everything finished for the day. It’s better to do a few things well then several things poorly.
Another thing that will help immensely is to know what is important. Prioritize your life. Honor your priorities. It’s more than your to do list. It’s your health, your family, and your life. Make sure you take time for yourself and understand that no one is perfect. We all have goals and dreams and it is important to work hard to get those things. But it’s also important to enjoy the journey. It is where you learn and grow the most.
We are all guilty of overscheduling at some point, especially in college. There is so much to get done and it feels like it never ends sometimes. But as a new school year approaches, I challenge you to try not to overschedule. Be realistic about your planning and understand that it might not always get accomplished. Do what you can, but remember to take care of yourself. You will be grateful later.