This semester I am attempting to take SIX art-sci courses (and pass them!) We’re only a few weeks into the semester and I already feel drowned by work, but I’m not ready to give up yet. The workload can be a struggle but this is how I’ve been managing it so far:
This is easier said than done. I try to keep organized in three ways.
- I make a master list of every assignment/essay/test, in the order that I need to get them done and I keep it visible on my desk at all times.
- I write out weekly and daily tasks in my agenda (at the start of the week and then also every morning).
- I write everything on a calendar so that I can visualize how much time I actually have.
Recently I’ve been tracking how much time I spend on homework by the hour.
- First I make my to-do list and beside every task I write out how long I think I will need to spend on it. I’ve found that if I structure my work like this I can actually spend less time on it.
- When I am doing readings and writing essays I set up a timer in my line of sight so that I see how much time I am taking. I’ve noticed that this really helps me keep on task because I am prone to taking five minute breaks that turn into YouTube binges. When I see the timer I am reminded to keep working.
- When I’m really procrastinating I try to visualise myself as some nineteenth-century academic who is fascinated by the research she needs to do. I’m not too sure why this works but sometimes imaging myself as a scholar in a dark academia story is enough to get me on task. Sometimes I light a few candles!
Dealing with Stress
In my experience it’s usually the build up of stress rather than the actual workload that leads to dropping a course. It’s more important than ever to give yourself time to rest.
- Blogger Talia recently wrote a great post on quick tips for reducing stress.
- Our old team captain and blogger Grusha–who has also taken six courses–encouraged an increase in self-care and giving yourself quiet moments.
- I try to never do work after 9:00 pm and every afternoon I make myself a cup of tea and take time off. At breakfast and lunch I just sit and eat rather than look at my computer screen, and at dinner I eat with my roommates.
- I prioritise going outside on a walk every day.
- If the stress is preventing me from getting to work I will start writing through my thoughts in my journal.
Lastly, know what your goals are. Getting the course credit might be worth more than a high grade. Other times, when I am super interested in the content of a course, that is enough motivation for me to keep up with it. Six courses can be hectic but not impossible–and it will be okay if you end up dropping one.