At the end of a summer, I create a list of goals I hope to achieve in the new term. This inventory is usually quite ample and I always imagine that I will have plenty of time to complete everything, with spare time for any activities I might have forgotten.
However, it was not long after I arrived back on campus before I realized my days will be jam-packed with class, work, meetings, graduate school applications, SI sessions, undergraduate research…the list goes on and on.
When I begin deliberating if I really need to sleep at all, I know it’s time to get organized.
Though it may seem daunting to sort everything out, here are a few tips that will save you some trouble later this semester.
First and foremost, use a planner. The bookstore sells a fashionable orange and black model with Wartburg events already printed inside; I favor a calendar setup that allows me to see the entire month ahead.
Whatever your personal preference, be sure to carry it with you and update it often. This simple step will help prevent you from scheduling yourself in two places at once and it will give you visualization on how busy your day or week is going to be.
Secondly, I highly recommend filling out a time usage grid. This tool designates your tasks to a particular time each day (i.e. from 7 to 7:30 a.m. I eat breakfast etc.).
This will help you to determine the flow of each day; when you are strapped for time, and when you can take some time to relax. It may also help you realize when you are wasting time.
Time is like money: the more efficiently you spend it, the more you’ll find you save.
Lastly, be sure to schedule some time for yourself. With all the activities going on around Wartburg, it is surprisingly easy to give away every minute of your day to campus organizations, classes, student employment and homework.
You may not think you have the time to exercise, eat a healthy meal, and get a good night of sleep, but these essentials will keep you focused and energized so you can be at peak productivity for your other tasks.
Taking five minutes to jam out to your favorite song will not put you behind in the long run, and it will do wonders for your stress levels.
Seizing control of your schedule will give you more time to do the things you really enjoy, whether that may be participating in intramurals, attending ETK events or attending a conference in your area of study.
Practice time management and make your Wartburg experience what you dreamed it would be.