Let’s face it, most of us have overbearing schedules and too many commitments. We wish there were 48 hours in a 24 hour day just so there would enough time to complete all the tasks that are required from us. I’ll admit it, I have experienced work overload way too many times in this school year alone – and it isn’t even half way finished! Responsibilities like family life and babysitting my brothers, attending class and completing assignments, my volunteer commitments, my job commitments, and of course having a social life (when I have time..) sometimes crash down on my shoulders all at once leaving me face down in the dirt. I have felt miserable over not having time to myself, I have felt stressed out because I didn’t have time to relax, and I have felt alone because I didn’t have time to see my family and friends. We all overwork ourselves at one time or another. Whether it be from procrastination (and having to write a 10 page essay the night before its due – P.S. don’t do this, its a bad idea), working too many hours at work, or whatever other reasons you may have. To simply put it, overworking yourself sucks. When you put too much time and energy into your responsibilities without allowing yourself to regenerate, you’ll experience burnout. Here are some tips and tricks to help you refrain from overworking yourself.
(1) CARRY AN AGENDA – Seriously, this is my NUMBER ONE tip for you. Having the ability to plan ahead and actually see when your commitments are due is a miracle. Have you ever had that panic feeling when you look at a syllabus and realize you have a paper due that week? Guess what – an agenda will save you from this nightmare. Write down every class time, every assignment that is due, every midterm day, every volunteer date, your job schedule, and whatever other commitments you may have. You will officially have the advantage over your workload, you will be able to tell what weeks are super busy and prioritize where you should focus your time. And lets be real, you’ll actually have a valid reason to use the phrase “let me check my schedule” when booking an appointment. Organization is the key to help you relax, I promise.
(2) SET DATES FOR YOUR SOCIAL LIFE – The one thing that irks me is when my friends and family ask me to go out to dinner or a movie last minute and I can’t make it. This happens all of the time, us busy bees tend to always miss out on fun things because we are occupied with other commitments at that moment. Key phrase – we are busy AT THAT MOMENT. We aren’t busy all of the time, so instead of missing out, plan ahead with your friends! I’ve been through weeks where I have felt gloomy because I’ve been constrained to the 4 walls of my work space, no contact with friends, and no nights out. Don’t pull a me – plan ahead and enjoy your time while you have it!
(3) DO NOT BE A PROCRASTINATOR! – I know it is easy to say, but procrastination is a huge contributor to burnout. I struggle with procrastination – it is the one thing I have struggled with from the beginning of high school, it has continued throughout my university career, and it has made me go bonkers. Having a start on your assignments means having more time to relax and do things that you want to do. Do you know how great you feel when you have a paper due in a few weeks and only have to work on the last couple paragraphs because you’ve already started? Or how much easier it is to study when you already have your notes printed out prior to the midterm week? When you have free time or are bored, instead of spending meaningless hours on your phone watching cat videos, why don’t you start looking at assignments that are due later on? You won’t have the added stress of having to complete hour long assignments if you break it down beforehand. Scheduling in time for my assignments is one *new* technique I’ve tried this year, and being a chronic procrastinator – it has helped!