This past weekend, I was having dinner and catching up with some of my old high school friends. At one point in the night, one of my friends looked at me and said, “Linda I don’t know how you have time to do everything.” I admit that I enjoy keeping a busy schedule. Time spent twiddling my thumbs doing nothing is, in my opinion, time wasted.
But having a lot of commitments also means I have to stay on top of everything that I do and plan very well. I try to stay on top of my obligations and commitments by using a planner and putting everything on my phone.
Lately, I have kind of fallen short of keeping my planner updated and utilizing it the way that I have been the majority of the semester. When the semester started, I made it a point to wake up about an hour to an hour and a half earlier than I wanted to get to campus in order to spend time getting ready and having some time to myself to pray and plan out my day.
The last few weeks, in the midst of all the craziness, I began to neglect that half hour to an hour of time to myself each morning in favor of a little extra sleep or getting to the office a little earlier that morning to get work done. I reasoned that I could still have that time to myself while I was in the office preparing for my work day and I tried to keep important dates and assignments in my mind.
This morning, however, as I was on a Skype meeting with a former UTD TV management member, I received a heart alarming email from my professor saying that I hadn’t turned in a homework assignment that was due yesterday. I logged onto elearning and realized that although I had completed the assignment the day it was assigned, I must have forgotten to submit it before the deadline.
My heart is still racing, and I’m still giving myself a hard time about it. I looked through my planner and realized that I hadn’t written it down on my to-do list yesterday. In fact, I hadn’t really written anything on my to-do list for the last several weeks. Luckily my professor is nice, and she’s only taking a couple points off the assignment, but I shudder to think what would have happened if I had missed some other major assignment for which the instructor wasn’t as lenient.
As college students, it is so easy to take on a lot of commitments, and I’m very much a proponent of being involved in your community and that education is more than what is taught in the classroom. But what happened this morning was also a good reminder that even when I have so many commitments and there’s a lot going on, it’s important to take some time out of my day, whether it be in the morning or at night to collect my thoughts and write everything down.
Having some time to myself, I’ve realized, is so crucial to my attitude and outlook on the rest of the day. I’m always a little more productive when I take the time to really think and write down what I need and want to accomplish that day and also to help myself set reasonable goals and deadlines. For me, that is accomplished through filling out my planner each morning, but for others it could be the hour or so spent at the gym or a morning/evening routine.
So long story short, I’d definitely encourage, even in the midst of finals and final projects, taking some time to unwind and brain dump whether it’s once a day or once a week so you can reset and stay organize.