I have been a student for the majority of my life, I’d like to think I’m sort of an expert on how to manage myself and learn to love the busy life! Being a student is a very time demanding lifestyle: you have papers to write, readings to do, tests to study for. It’s a never-ending cycle of busy-ness. Its also a very expensive one: tuition, textbooks, school supplies..etc the list could go on and on. I am fortunate enough to go to school close to home and live at home with family while I complete my undergraduate, but many aren’t. I have created a list of things that I do daily to help myself stay on top of my assignments, continue to practice a healthy lifestyle, and have some energy to complete it all.
Socialize in an Energetic Environment
There are certain things I have come to expect and love that I do for myself, including drinking Starbucks coffee, getting my eyelashes done, going out to eat on a regular basis and paying for my gym membership/phone bill. Sadly, I don’t have someone to buy me everything I want, so instead, I work. Throughout my entire undergraduate degree, I have had either one job, or two jobs to keep up with my spending habits. Every semester I plan out my school schedule to be able to accommodate what I anticipate will be my work schedule. This makes it easier to maintain a 4-5 day work week. Keep in mind, the server life isn’t the longest shifts so it helps that I don’t get too tired out! Serving while in school is one of my greatest recommendations because the hours can be fairly short (only 3-7 hours per shift) and the money is comparable to a full-time position.
Working in a restaurant is really fun when you can leave your stresses away for a couple hours and genuinely talk with people who you normally wouldn’t get a chance to talk to. That is one of my favourite things about my job, is that part of it is just conversing with people and making good experiences.
Early Bird or Night Owl – Work With Your Strengths
I’d like to say I am an early riser but I usually enjoy sleeping in until around 10 am. Working in the service industry and having late-night shifts makes it hard to want to be up early every day. I prefer to get things done at night and relax during the day. So if you’re more of a night owl like me, make sure to complete tasks at night when you know you’ll be awake, instead of expecting yourself to get up early and overall end up finishing less because you’re too sleepy.
Stay Accountable & Create Lists
Some of the things I do to keep organized every day is creating to-do lists on my phone or write them down in the mornings when I wake up. It only takes a few minutes but holds me accountable for the things I have prioritized for the day. It is also quite rewarding to be able to check things off at the end of the day. I recently discovered an app called Microsoft To-Do and I keep it on my phone’s homepage so I won’t forget, to use as a checklist each day. It’s super easy and you’re able to transfer over tasks you haven’t completed that day, to the following.
In addition to school, work and sleep, I love going to the gym! As a student, sometimes balancing all this is challenging so it’s always about prioritizing. I like to prioritize gymming before relaxing many times because it is something that I love to do. Releasing those extra endorphins ends up giving me more energy in the long-run. I also acknowledge that during peak parts of the semester (aka midterms season) that my workouts do end up taking a toll. I would much rather put in that extra 5 hours studying or researching for my papers than one workout. I cannot emphasize enough about balance and prioritizing the essentials.
It’s challenging at times to get everything you want to do, done in a day. It takes time to learn that you won’t ever accomplish it all, and that’s fine too because it’s all about being productive and maximizing your time. It is satisfying at the end of the day feeling like your day has been very productive, even without finishing everything on your list. I promise!
Oh, and Drink Coffee ✓
— photocredit @norwesterbrand