Balancing School and Work

Alright, alright, alright. We’re going to start getting into the meat of what I want The Caffeinista to be mainly about: how to kill it in school, work, and life. This post itself will start a foundation for two of the three: school and work.

If you’re like me, the first thing you might be thinking while reading this is, “why the hell does this chick think she’s qualified to tell me what to do?” To answer your question, I frankly don’t know. I may not be the best person to tell you what to do, however I do have plenty of experience on the topic. I’ve had a part-time job since pretty much the moment I turned 16. Since then, I became a college student who has worked several various jobs/internships while constantly improving my GPA. I have taken the maximum 18 units almost every semester with a part-time position on top, and a social life somewhere in-between. That said, I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way to make it all work.

Luckily for my senior year of college, I can ease off on the credits since I’m a bit ahead of the game. However, my tools for managing time and stress will definitely be used with my senior thesis films come into play. Combine that with my Panhellenic position (pre-recruitment, especially), my own sorority, potentially an internship, and hopefully a solid social life, it’s going to be hectic.

Here are my best tips for getting things done and making time for yourself:

    1. Get ORGANIZED | This is what keeps me sane and helps me remember what I have to get done. I use an agenda for big picture scheduling and day-by-day plans, but I also like to keep To-Do lists online to add any and all tasks. I used to use a note on my phone (which synced to my laptop) to be organized, but moved over to Wunderlist over the last couple of months. Not only is it more satisfying (getting to check off a task) but also it allows me to create separate lists. I currently have a main one, one for Panhellenic, and one for this blog! I hope to do future posts on organization, but really wanted to emphasize how important staying organized is.
    2. Focus on one task at a time | A simple trick I learned in my mindfulness course in Italy. When one tries to multitask, it actually takes longer for them to get the tasks done. Be fully present as you tackle each project, in order to be the most effective with your time. It’s that simple!
    3. Find out what makes YOU feel productive | Another idea to detail further in a future post, this is pretty important. You need to know what works best for you, and channel that. Take some time, especially in the beginning of the semester when the workload is light, to find out what works best for you. Do you need to have a certain snack by your side? Is it a fresh cup of coffee? Where do you like to be? The library? Your room with the door shut? Or a coffee shop? Once you figure out what works, it makes it so much easier to get into that routine. For example, my roommate likes to do her homework in our living room, all cozied up on the couch, where I typically like having a big table to spread out. It varies per person, but this is definitely a handy trick to have up your sleeve.
    4. Tackle something super easy FIRST, then go for the HARDEST | Some may disagree with me on this, but hear me out. You’re getting organized and making your to-do list, right? This is a scary task in itself, because you can stress yourself out just trying to figure out how you’re going to accomplish everything. After you organize everything, start by doing an easy task on your list. Whether that’s just making your bed, throwing some clothes in the washer, or cleaning up the kitchen, take the 10-15 minutes it will to finish it. Once you do that, you can check it off your list. Feel better already? Now, your focus is warmed up and ready to take on that big essay or stressful spreadsheet. You got this!
    5. Set aside time for things that you enjoy and help you recharge | How often does this happen to you – the weekend comes and goes, and on Sunday night you do NOT feel ready to start the new week? Once a month? Almost every week? Yikes. Another thing to do a little soul-searching on, but think about what you have fun doing that also helps you recharge. It could be something as mundane as cleaning up your house. For me, going to the gym or taking a workout class is really helpful! It’s the time I get to step away from all that I have to do and focus on myself. Not only am I accomplishing some fitness goals, but also I am using my free time on me. As much as some like to believe they can get everything done when they need to, it doesn’t always happen. Be realistic, and set goals that help you maintain a healthy well-being as well as a productive lifestyle! Growth starts from within so make sure you take care of you!

 

 

I definitely plan to break down some of these ideas in future posts, but these are just some ideas to hopefully motivate you. What makes you feel like you can take on the world? Leave a comment below, I’d really love to hear!

Here’s to a week of getting ish DONE!

 


2 thoughts on “Balancing School and Work

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