I wasn't planning this post for back-to-school week but it just so happened that I was thinking about it and realized it totally applies. What I'm sharing below is what I believe to be the secret to having a stress-free life; in and out of school.
I recently got the agenda pictured above. A coworker and I bonded over our love for all things paper and cute so she recommended this brand of agendas to me and I just started using it as they start from August of the previous year through December of the next.
No, this post is not about this agenda, albeit a very cute agenda; it has stickers too. This post is about planning. One of the secrets to having a stress-free life is by planning ahead. And the first step for both is getting an agenda, if you don't have one already, to stay on track. See below for more tips for students and non-students...
1. Write down important dates
As you get a syllabus from each class, instead of feeling overwhelmed at how much you'll need to do this semester, start filling in those dates in your agenda. So your test/exam dates, project/assignment/reading due dates etc. Once you have those dates down in order, you'll see that they are a lot more achievable and you can now move on to the next step.
2. Create a study plan
Now that you know your class schedule and have an idea of the workload for each class, create a study plan of what you'll study each day for each class. I would even go as far as breaking it down by chapter so you would have covered all the material needed before your first test and don't have to binge read.
3. Start Now!
Start keeping up with reading those chapters you're expected to read before each class that only a few people do so you can better participate in class conversations, understand the topics, ask questions on what you don't understand and get noticed by the professor ;) Start doing research for those projects and papers due mid-semester.
It is easier to start off right than to have to play catch up right before a test so start now. Trust me, its not too early.
1. Create a Routine
When you have things in your life that demand your time e.g. kids, work, business etc. you need to establish some sort of structure for yourself so you're not running around like the time rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. As boring as it sounds, having a routine helps you keep a handle on your time so you can create time for the things you need to do and most importantly, for the fun things, lol.
2. Stick to it
Now I'm not going to lie, getting into a new routine is hard, Lord knows I'm still struggling to wake up at 4am consistently. The important thing is to stick with it. And once it becomes a habit, its smooth sailing from there.
3. Adjust as needed
Things will always pop up; so don't be so rigid that you are completely thrown off when they do. Instead, adjust your routine as they happen and determine whether you need to make a temporary or permanent change to your routine.