One Long To-Do: The Importance of Finding the Right Balance

Hello dear blog readers! Welcome back to school for our winter semester. For me, I am incredibly excited to get things going. Yet this week was probably not what I had in mind. Alongside my course readings, I have twelve hours of work, three deferred essays (yes, I am still living with the consequences of having mono last semester), preliminary plans for a leadership series, too many meetings, getting a undergraduate journal printed in the next couple days, and of course, planning a history conference on Saturday. If you are wondering, “Haley, how do you do it?” trust me, I ask myself the exact same thing every day. In all honesty, I find that when I am busy, I am more productive. Maybe it is my experience of balancing work, school, and extra-curricular activities since I was twelve (yes, that was legal in Alberta), or maybe it is just my personality. Either way, I hate being bored. Of course, this productivity can only last for so long. I found that in my first and second years, I would just add more responsibilities until my mental health was in shambles. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have insomnia, but I wanted to share a couple things with you that keep me going. First is my new apartment. I recently moved out of residence, mainly because I needed a space that was separate from all my university involvement. It was kind of taxing all the time to be just be “two minutes away” from everything, which induced a perpetual “go, go, go” mentality. So, to actually have my own place that is away from “it all” has been invaluable to my sense of wellbeing.
My lovely coffee machine.
This is my dinner. #coffeeaddict.
A table with all my books, computer, and notebook...right next to the microwave.
My kitchen table turned desk!
Now, I am not necessarily advising that you drop everything and move to a new place! I find that simply designating spaces for certain tasks (room is for sleeping, library is for studying, the JCR is for socializing) can really help you feel more aware about how you interact with and use your physical surroundings. Also, designating your bed solely for sleeping can help with insomnia. (
Selfie at the Library.
Graham Library Lifestyle .
Second is my calendar. I need to schedule not because I forget my plans otherwise, but so I avoid stressing over “what’s next.” Also, like every fun person, I love colours. By establishing certain colours for certain tasks (teal for student government, purple for work, red for class, light blue for events) my calendar helps me to balance out everything.
My calendar with all my events neatly coloured.
So many colours, so many things to do!
So in short, finding a method that allowed me to focus solely on what I need to do has been a great source of relief. Although it took me basically until my third year to figure out my optimal workload, it is quite reassuring now to know I can do it, even at the busiest of times. Why? Well, because I know that this week is not exemplar of what is to come. By Sunday, I will be done most of work and will be able to recharge for the week ahead. What do you do keep track of everything?

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