How are we half-way through first semester already? I hear us all asking ourselves; starting to worry about up-coming in-class tests, assignment deadlines and the threatening reality of Christmas Exams getting closer and closer. “We have loads of time!” is no longer a comforting assertion because it is no longer true. We don’t have loads of time, but we do have time.
I always find that the thought of all the things I need to do, when I look at everything collectively, is ominously overwhelming; “I just can’t deal with all of this”, you think, and instead of actually being productive, making use of the time you have by doing things bit by bit, you just retreat into an “oh my god I’m so stressed” ball of denial and end up procrastinating to the point of not doing anything at all.
I can promise you that the thought of all you have to do is much less daunting than what you actually have to do. You might not feel like it, but you have time. Even if you don’t have as much time as you’ll need to get everything done, you have time to get a good chunk of that everything done, at least, which is a lot better than nothing.
Dedicating three or four hours a day to making out notes, reading a few articles, or getting a start on the research for assignments may not seem like an awful lot but it is more than what you will get done, or rather fail to get done, if you just think about it instead of doing it. I know it sounds ridiculous, but once you start getting into a routine of a little, perhaps, but steady productivity, you will realise how much time you and all of the people around you spend thinking instead of doing.
I really don’t mean to sound harsh or intolerant; of course down-time and relaxation is so important (extremely so, and I am a huge advocate of some decent, especially allocated ‘me-time’, as I call it) but you cannot keep declaring “I have so much to do!” if you waste the 5 or 6 hours of free time you have in a day messing around doing nothing really, and not being in any little way productive. Absolutely meet your friend for coffee or lunch for an hour or two, but spend the other 3 or so hours free you have in the library or wherever it is you work best doing some study or note making or assignment doing.
Time management. I hate saying it, even more than I hate hearing it (mainly from my mother, but I thank her for it… eventually). It’s a basic skill, and we all know how to do it, so I won’t get into the ‘how’. Using your time cutely will make your life a whole lot easier, most especially in the few weeks coming up to assignment deadlines and exams. Take a moment to think of all the time you spend scrolling through Instagram or snapchat stories on your phone. It might not be 3 hours in any one sitting, but if you add up all the minutes you spent on your phone throughout the day (some phones track this statistic for you, check if yours does) you’ll be shocked at the number.
If you do a little bit everyday between now and the week before your in-class test, your assignment deadline, your exam, or whatever event in the near future it is you are worrying about, you’ll have a lot less to do in the shorter time you’ll have to do it, and therefore a lot less to worry about and stress over. Less stress, more success, right?
It scares me, how much I’m beginning to sound like my Mum. It scares me even more how often I hear my friends telling me I sound like their Mum.
Oh well, take care.