The last few posts have been very serious, so I wanted to take some time to just relax a bit and give some advice to students who may be prepping for their finals after Easter weekend. Nowadays, there are so many things around us that try to grab our attention, in fact as you are reading this post, there might be 20 other things that you could be doing with your time instead! Keep reading though because this post might help and also since I put some work into these and would love to know some people get something out of them :) My best advice is to get to know you. I know this is super vague, but you have to get to know what helps you focus in order to stay productive.
Although my entire routine may not be the best fit for you, I encourage you to maybe take apart my organizational tactics and attempt to make something new that may fit into your schedule. Everyday I wake up around the same time every morning. I try to get a solid 8 hours of sleep, I cannot stress how important it is to get your sleep schedule as close as possible to a normal schedule. If you go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time, you will program your body to end the REM cycle at the right time and you will have more energy to start the day. I like to start on a good note, so I begin each day with a hot shower to wake me up and a full breakfast to get my head in the right mindset. I try to keep everything written down on my outlook calendar so I do not need to rely on remembering events, but also have my schedule at the fastest speed if I need to pull anything up. Although I try to keep to a solid schedule, I also build in some time for myself to reset my mind. This can be a quick nap before a big meeting, or maybe just an hour set aside each night to write this blog.
I've noticed recently a lot of students become very stressed with everything they need to get done and in many times fail to get anything done! There are multiple ways to combat this. First and foremost, clean your room. I know this is one of the most annoying things to do, but when you have an organized place, you feel more productive, you aren't reminded of everything you need to do, plus it is just nice to know everything is taken care of just in case you have unplanned visitors. The second piece of staying unstressed came from one of my old supervisors who always told me "inch by inch, life's a cinch, yard by yard, life is hard." This saying always reminds me to take things one at a time. When you feel overwhelmed with everything going on, in many cases it is because you are also piling on 20 things that do not need to be done at this very minute. Create a "To Do" list or calendar to list deadlines and set priorities. I should also mention the time wasted from worrying. Although I do it way to much, I also try to remember that worrying about something you have no control over is like trying to run a marathon in a rocking chair, it is going to take a whole lot of effort to make very little progress, so don't do it!
And now for the lightning round: Stay physically fit, get things done before the last minute, limit Facebook time, get a friend to create a support system, don't cram everything into a small chunk of time, separate things out accordingly, listen to soothing music (like the one placed below, one of my favorites!), set goals, write everything down, eat well balanced meals, have fun! I know there is a lot to take in at at once and probably much more that I didn't mention, but that is the charm of staying focused, it is really a master form. And in honor of me sticking to my word, I will end the post here in order to keep my scheduled bedtime. Sweet dreams!