Sunday, October 26, 2014

Busy Weeks: How to Keep it Together

Boy oh boy...between writing my article for The Defender (link will come next Sunday!) and various other festivities of the week, things were absolutely crazy! It was definitely the busiest week I've had this semester. Thankfully, I made it through unscathed, completely intact.
It's incredibly important during these busy weeks to have some sort of plan to help yourself get through it all. But before I get to that, here are some shots from my crazy week!

Some more foliage: this was perhaps the only moment that it wasn't raining this week.

The biggest event of the week, and perhaps of the year: Foster the People came to St. Mike's for the Fall Concert! 
We were lucky enough to get a spot in the front (we got there the second the doors opened), but that also meant there was a lot of pushing and shoving to endure. There were way more diehards than I'd expected! 
Extreme coziness aside, Foster the People did an amazing job. They were great performers and sang excellent live. I wish I'd gotten a video, but to be honest, I was afraid of dropping my phone amongst the fist-pumping and never seeing it again! So I only made it out with a little documentation.

...I made it out with the one guitar pick they threw into the crowd at the end! It now resides safely in my little jewelry container. So glad for this souvenir! 

In other less exciting news, we made it out to Olive Garden for a cheap college student's night out...the never-ending pasta bowl! Highly recommended for one of those nights that you're craving something new and different. 

And now, for the cutest event of the weekend, and perhaps the most innovative Saturday idea we've ever had...

We visited the adoption center at Pet Smart and had some bonding time with Toad, the 15-week-old kitten! These photos hardly do his size justice. He was such a cutie. Unfortunately, we felt bad staying too long because he was clearly sleepy, so it was quick, but worth it!

Another trip to Burlington! This time it started raining just as we were getting down to the water, so it was a few quick pictures and then a run back to the car! 

After some Halloween-costume-prep (which will all be revealed next Sunday!), the weekend was complete.

Needless to say, I pretty much just documented the fun stuff this week. But believe you me, the planner was full:

...and the question remains, how do we make things easier on ourselves?

1.) Know the Week Ahead of You

A lot of the time, we know some of the events of our busy week before the week begins. For example, I had several interviews lined up for my Defender article, as well as different deadlines for different drafts of the article. Mentally preparing yourself with the things you already know are going to happen helps to gain a sense of what the week is going to be like before you dive into it.

2.) Write it Down

The second you know a date for a quiz, an assignment checkpoint, a meeting, or just something you want to remember: write it down. The second you think of it or know about it. Whether you rely on a To-Do list, a weekly planner, or even just the Notes feature of your iPhone, it's important to keep up with this written schedule. When one thing after the next comes up throughout your week, you'll be glad you're writing them down as they come. That way, you can release them from your racing mind until you have to get them done!

3.) Cross it Off

Once you get something done on your list/planner, cross it off! That way, the only things you're seeing are the things you still have to get done. This minimizes the pressure immensely, as well as eliminates any confusion as to what you have and haven't already taken care of. Think about it...would you feel better glancing over a To-Do list of ten tasks, or three? I think we all know the answer to that.

4.) Get the Little Things Out of the Way

This year, I've gotten into a habit of getting things done as they come in. That way, they're out of the way, and they're not hanging over my head. If it's a bigger project that's going to take some more time, break it up. Do one part Monday, the next Tuesday, etc. Plan it out in chunks, and still try to get it done as soon as you can. Once you're done with it, it's one less thing to worry about.

5.) Stay Organized

When you're on a tight schedule, the last problem you want to run into is forgetting where you put something. That's valuable time out the window. You don't have time to clean up a messy desk, so don't let it get messy in the first place! Stay on top of things, and you'll have everything where you need it, when you need it. 

It's possible! You will survive! In my personal experience, I've found that I'm less stressed, more motivated, and more prepared when I know I'm on top of these five things. Don't let your work get ahead of you, and know you are in control. Then, it's only you and your fabulous planner taking over the world.
Good luck, and stay tuned next Sunday the 2nd for more!

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