This is the time of the year when many students are living 48-hour days to study for finals (and prep for graduation), parents are scrambling to find affordable yet enjoyable trips for their family and fitness enthusiasts are working out overtime, sculpting their perfect beach body. In other words, life can be a bit stressful right now.
There was a time in my life when I was the chapter president of a professional organization, director of my sorority, an intern for two organizations and a sales associate all while being a full-time commuter student, girlfriend and dog mom. Life wasn’t easy, but below are five tips that helped me get through that time of my life without going insane, and they might just work for you.
1. Clean your home and work space.
Nothing can be more frustrating than working on a tight deadline and not being able to find what you need. In order to prevent this from happening, clean your home and workspace on a regular basis. According to Reader’s Digest, cleaning is a proven de-stresser, improves your mood and makes you more productive at work.
Don’t forget that your computer is included in the cleaning process. Try categorizing your files into up to five folders. If you do a lot of work on your computer, it will make your life SO much easier. Within those folders, you can make sub-folders, sub-sub-folders and so on. Every inch of my laptop’s home screen used to be filled with files. It made it nearly impossible to find anything, and it was very frustrating. Now, all of my files are condensed into four folders on my home screen.
2. Color code your life.
This tip is not just for visual learners. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, color helps us memorize
information and increase our attention to certain information.
The best way to color code your life is by using a planner. You could use a digital task management tool (I recommend Asana) and/or a physical planner (I use The Happy Planner). Assign a color for each aspect of your life. For example, my tasks for this blog are purple and my responsibilities for church are orange. Whenever you have an event to attend or a task for a certain aspect of your life, highlight or use a colored pen to write down that event or task in its corresponding color. Your calendar will look somewhat like the one below. Instead of seeing an endless list of tasks, the color breaks up your tasks into categories to make your responsibilities seem less daunting and also help you remember what to do easier.
3. Plan your day the night before.
This somewhat relates to the last tip. Make your to-do list before bed. Then, close your eyes and walk through your next day in your head. Visualizing your day the night before helps you program that day into your brain while you sleep so you can have the optimal day. This also helps you manage your time more efficiently and reminds you the most important things you need to complete for the next day.
4. Celebrate your successes.
Congratulate yourself for a job well done. Pamper yourself! Take a bath, light incense/candles, get a massage, or simply eat a large bowl of ice cream. Each task you complete is an accomplishment, and isn’t that enough cause for celebration? This will also make you subconsciously want to complete more tasks, making you more productive.
5. Ask for help.
Sometimes, we have a tendency to bite a little more than we can chew, but our pride may get in the way of us asking for help. However, we’re not superhuman! We just have to accept that there are times when we need a helping hand. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to help you if you just ask. 🙂
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on stress or mental health, and you should always consult your doctor or therapist before making any changes to your lifestyle.