Hello! I hope that everyone’s classes have gone well for all of those who’ve started already. My classes also started recently, and as we all know, figuring out your general daily and weekly schedule is the worst. A lot of stress can build up just from this one thing!
My first word of advice: have at least one agenda. I have two (one on my iPhone and the other a Vera Bradley planner) that generally list the same things, but one is for when I’m walking, and the other when I’m sitting down in class and listing my assignments.
When you plan out your days and weeks, know what you must do (such as classes and work) and what you would like to do (the gym, hanging out, etc.) It all depends on what you value in your everyday routine. For me, I value my gym time because that’s my “me time,” so I purposely try to make room for it. I also will post sports events (even though I may not attend them) because I want to try to schedule times to hang out with my friends and be social.
But things always happen, so the difficult part is making your schedule both solid and flexible. For example: I love going to the gym in the mornings; but if I’m too tired from the night before or just from the week, I’ll think about my time slots for the day and give myself multiple periods of when I could go, if someone would want to go with me or for when I also get assigned something huge in one of my classes and need to work on that for a bit first.
It’s chaotic getting started, but once you find a system that works, stick with it. For me, I write everything down and then highlight it with a specific color. I color-code everything (sorority is pink, campus stuff yellow, work green, etc.). It looks like a mess, but it keeps me organized. But this method doesn’t work for everyone!
Second piece of advice: know your schedule pretty much by heart - don’t just have it written down. You meet this skill by always checking and re-checking what you plan for today, tomorrow, and later that week.
Sometimes when I have a really busy day, for the sake of time management I have to carry multiple bags with me. There are moments when I go to the gym right after work or class because going all the way back to my dorm (a 10-15 minute trek there, then changing, and then going to the gym) wastes time. I probably look strange, but it gets the job done.
Overall, this process is stressful and frustrating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes a part of your lifestyle. And having an organized and viewable schedule is healthy! It’s when that schedule becomes too crowded with “must do’s” that it gets stressful and unhealthy. You need to balance both “must do’s” and “want to’s.”
A healthy lifestyle involves planning and time management, whether it’s with food, working out, or your everyday life. Be solid and flexible!