Happy Wednesday- halfway there! This week has been a little strange so far! First, our internet wasn’t working in my office on Monday, so I ended up working from home. Also, I usually have Bible study on Monday nights, but we’re taking a break so I just stayed home and watched reality TV instead. Interesting swap. It just throws me off when my routine changes, so I’ll be happy to get back to normal!
One thing that may surprise you about me is that I’m a huge procrastinator. My train never leaves the Procrastination Station. It’s parked. There are weeds growing up around the wheels. By this point, I’ve accepted that it’s just part of who I am. I mean, what’s the last minute for if not for scrambling to accomplish something? In high school, I hoped it would get better in college. In college, I hoped I would grow out of it after I graduated as I submitted research papers at 11:59 pm. But here we are, still starting blog posts no earlier than 9 pm the night before I post them. I know that this is a problem, but somehow I made it out of college with a degree, a job, and pretty good grades, so it can be done. And even now, I finish my work on time and am able to get a blog post up every other day. What’s the best way to manage your time if you operate best in a short time frame? Let me tell you my tips!
The only way you’ll be able to keep up this last-minute lifestyle is if you stay on top of everything, in the sense that you know what you have to do. Putting things off and being scatterbrained are two different things. I use my planner like it is second only to the Bible. As soon as you find something out, write it down. If you’re in college, the day you get your syllabus, go through and write down all of the due dates, test dates, and anything else you’ll have to prepare for. I write literally everything in my planner- social events, trips home, my blog schedule, whatever. Then, each Sunday afternoon I look at what I’ve got coming up that week and start planning my schedule for each day, and every morning I write my to-do list and review the day’s events and the rest of the week! That way you’ll (hopefully) never forget anything!
2. Write down everything you should be working on, even if you probably won’t.
I have tried countless times in my life to “get ahead” on things. On homework, blog posts, reading, whatever. I wish I could be one of those people that had blog posts written a week in advance, but I’m just not. However, I will not give up hope! I also have an overwhelming desire to mark as many things off my to-do list (with my favorite red pen) as humanly possible. So, I learned in college that if I had an assignment that I should probably spend more than a few hours on, I would go ahead and start writing it on my to-do list in case for some reason I decided I hadn’t done enough homework that day. And sometimes…it works! If you get on a roll, you may just end up getting ahead on some things. What a miracle.
3. Create your own deadlines
One of the main reasons I put everything off until the last minute is because I work better under pressure. That’s probably not a healthy way to live life, but whatever. Honestly, I typically only work on something when I know the clock is ticking. In school, deadlines were given to you, but sometimes in real life they’re not. At work, I’ll usually ask when I need to complete a task if I’m not told at the beginning, and sometimes I get a hard deadline, but sometimes I don’t. If not, I’ll usually aim to complete it within the next day or two. For my blog, it can be difficult because there’s not really any accountability- I’m a one-woman show over here! Previously, I would “try” to post a few times a week, but tapered off. Since I’ve started this new site, I’ve committed to a MWF posting schedule, and I know that every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday night, I will be writing a blog post even if that means staying up until 1 am (and it has a couple of times). Treat your own deadlines as just as strict as the deadlines you’re given by someone else. If it’s important, you’ll do it!
I know everyone says this, but usually that’s all they say and don’t explain it. Here’s how I prioritize: I write down three or four things I HAVE to get done by the end of the day. Like, non-negotiable, absolutely necessary, I may literally die or at least heavily jeopardize my grades, my job, or the credibility of my blog. You may choose not to be so dramatic, but the drama helps me find the fear and actually get things done. If you find yourself with more than four non-negotiables, then it may be time for Step 5:
5. Scale it back
I have a saying that at the corner of overcommitted and overcaffeinated is where I live my best life. And most of the time, that’s true. But in all honesty, I can’t live like that for an extended period of time or I will lose it. My senior year of college, I was working 20 hours a week, taking a full load of classes, heavily involved in my sorority, looking for a job, and trying to have all the fun. I did it, but not without
a few too many meltdowns to mention. By the time I graduated, I was DONE. The first three weeks I lived in The Woodlands, I would just go home and sit on my couch every night and revel in the fact that I had absolutely nothing else to do. Looking back, I probably was doing so much that I couldn’t really do any of it very well. Sometimes, you have to give things up in order to do the things that are most important to you!
6. Learn what works for you
Whenever you start a new endeavor, whether that’s college, a full-time job, or consistent blogging, you have to try a few things to see how you work best. For me, in college I worked best late at night in a quiet setting. I had to be at a table or desk- I couldn’t study on my bed or my couch, or I would just end up falling asleep or watching tv. At work, I’ve learned to set a routine that I do literally every day. I start by updating my reports, then move to checking social media, then on to my to-do list. When I blog, I work best again, late at night at my desk. In college, I tried to wake up early and study instead of staying up late. It worked a few times when I absolutely had to, but it left me feeling panicked, and I would usually just sleep in. Once you find a routine that works for you, stick with it!
7. Calm down
I should probably take my own advice on this one, but don’t freak out. When I was overwhelmed in college, my mom would tell me to take the forest one tree at a time, which just means that instead of focusing on, “Oh crap, I have all of this stuff to do by tomorrow”, tackle one task at a time. And reward yourself with a snack in between each. Just kidding, that’s how you get the Freshman 15. But seriously, if I can do it, so can you. And if all else fails, you can just apply for The Bachelor.
I hope this was helpful! What are your thoughts on my college posts? I”m not quite sure who my audience is, so let me know if you’d like to see more, or if you want me to move on to my current stage of life 🙂
That’s all for meow!
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