Your college starts next week and you don’t really know how you’re going to handle the workload? Even worse, you are half way through the new semester and everything seems to be getting out of hand.
It’s fine, just grab a notepad to make your schedule, a cup of coffee (or any other beverage you like), and stop any of these five things you might be doing!
Stressing yourself out
If your head is stuffed with thoughts about assignments whose due dates keep nearing with each passing second, club activities you still need to catch up on, and that scary lecturer whose lab record you haven’t submitted yet, you need to relax and take a deep breath.
It does sound overwhelming when you have so much to do in so little time. To not feel so intimidated by the amount of work you think you have, start by listing it all down. That will make your burden lighter and then you can create an action plan.
2. Taking suggestions from other people
Your neighbour wakes up at 5 am to practice Yoga every morning? That’s great, but before you set that alarm for 5 am, ask yourself if you even are a morning person. There is no point in meditating early in the morning if the activity is only going to leave you feeling cranky and moody for the rest of your day.
Every time table does not work the same for everybody. Your body, mind, heart rate, sleep pattern, food habits, even your favourite brand of non-dairy milk differs from your neighbour’s. Your best resort is to sit down and consider your own levels of stress and comfort while you plan a timetable.
3. Wondering if taking a break is a crime
Even expert swimmers are not advised to hold their breaths for longer than five minutes. They resurface, breathe and only then dip their heads back in water. You need to hit the refresh button after a long hour of college work in order to keep yourself charged for the rest of the day.
You can also reward yourself every time you meet your goals, if that keeps you motivated. “I watch a new episode from my favourite TV Show every time I complete a planned task for the week. It helps me complete my work without binge watching the entire series at once,” a student shared his idea of rewarding himself.
4. Setting unrealistic goals for yourself
“My best friend and I always start with a strict time table and swear to follow it throughout the year, but we give up on it during the first two weeks of college.” Varna Bhaskar, a first year student from Mount Carmel College said. One of the most important factors of planning a timetable is to ensure that you stick to it. It is very natural to give up on a schedule that feels like the punishment for a mistake you never committed.
If your time table includes goals like, ‘Working on completing Chemistry assignment until I finish it’ or something along the lines of ‘Studying for ten hours a day’, then you are most likely to give up on it within the first few weeks of planning.
5. Overlooking the importance of personal care in your schedule
Time management does not only refer to ‘completing assessable work’. It includes managing the time to revise subjects discussed in class, assigning light days (days with little work so you can be lazy) and day offs, taking out time for your hobbies and maintaining a social life to ensure personal care.
You shouldn’t let your time table restrict you from doing the things you like. Also, it is okay to do something off your time table once in a while if you feel like it.
Shifting your study time to 6:00 pm because you were supposed to start at 5:00 pm and it’s already 5:01 pm? Not recommended.
Make a time table that suits your lifestyle and convenience so you can see the results in the long run without stressing yourself out.
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Currently in her first year, studying Journalism at Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, Simren Pandey likes to spend her time putting her thoughts into words or trying to recreate an Instagram famous dessert.