The past few weeks, and this week, of grad school are what I call ridiculously busy. You know those weeks when you have something to do, some assignment due, some meeting scheduled, some obligation on every single day of the week?! That's how it's been recently. In undergrad, I had to learn how to handle these weeks in order to survive and be successful in school and other areas of my life.
Currently, I'm taking 12 hours of classes, working part-time off campus, involved in a nonprofit organization, lightly involved in a few campus organizations, working for my own company, blogging, and maintaining a healthy social and eating lifestyle.
I'm sharing how I handle a ridiculously busy week during the school year
Use your planner/agenda
At the start of the week, I look at my planner/agenda and see what all I have to do for the week. I use the week view for homework assignments and events/places I need to be. Whether you use a paper agenda or your iPhone, if you're in college, you should have some method for organizing your time and keeping up with your schedule. During busy weeks, I schedule my tasks by the hour.
Then, I categorize and prioritize the things I have to do in 3 ways (must do's, should do's, and could do's). You can call them whatever you'd like, but this is how I cut down on my list of things to-do. If I can move the could do's to another week, I move them back and lessen my load for the week.
Must do's - non-negotiable priorities such as eating, sleeping, school assignments, studying, keeping in touch with family/friends, attending classes
Should do's - important priorities such as attending social functions, appointments & meetings that can be reschedules
Could do's - optional priorities such as attending non-mandatory social functions, social media, shopping
Use additional lists
During busy weeks, I write additional to-do's on a separate list or post-its and add them to the pages of my agenda. As I complete these tasks, I highlight them. It helps to separate these list by day so they aren't so overwhelming. Do things in the order they must be done instead of trying to do it all at once.
Limit your social media
These are the weeks when I want to spend hours on Facebook or Instagram, ignoring reality…but I can't. I limit my social media time during busy weeks to 30 min. - 1 hour a day and use this as a break or combine it with my eating time.
Schedule in rest, breaks, and eating
Maintaining your health during these busy weeks is really important. Balance out the coffee with tea and water. Schedule in when you will go to sleep each night. Take breaks during the day to workout, talk with a friend, or do something you enjoy - just be sure to put a time limit on it. Schedule in eating breaks or you may forget to eat! If you'll be on campus all day, pack snacks or work in a place nearby food options.
If you know you have a busy week coming up, do your laundry days before, prepare meals and snacks for the upcoming week so you won't have to spend time during an already busy week doing that. Also, if you can reschedule meetings or appointments, do that. Clean up your work space so you'll have a good environment to work in during your busy week. Reach out to friends and see if they have upcoming busy weeks and think about studying/working with them.
After you get through your busy week, celebrate! I typically treat myself to a manicure/pedicure, some sleep, or some frozen yogurt. Here are other ways to celebrate.
I hope these tips help you as much as they've helped me! My break (for blogging) is over :)
Have a great week!