Ah, so it’s Friday. You’re finishing up all your classes that you can’t be bothered with at all, because all you can think about is how amazing the weekend will be. Or, on the flip side, you’re stressed out due to all your homework, upcoming projects, and your part time job. Either way, you know that as much as you hate to admit it, there’s a good chance you’ll leave all your important stuff until Sunday night after the Super Bowl–or, maybe you’ll leave it all undone and be stressed tf out Monday morning. So, how do we keep that from happening? Keep reading for 5 quick tricks on how to get all those crap obligations done.
1. Make a list. It’s time to take about 15 minutes to get a notebook out, and word vomit all over the page with anything and everything you want to get done or feel you should get done. This list should include everything from big to small. This might include: Homework assignments, projects, housing paperwork, bills, applying for jobs, going to work, applying for internships, deciding if you want to go to that party you were invited to, calling family members, grocery shopping, working out, doing your laundry and dishes, catching up on Black Mirror, etc.
Now, go through that list and rank every item in order of importance.
2. Budget your time and set a deadline.
This step is probably the one that you will struggle with the most, because I know I do. As much as I try to be a college adult and commit myself to getting things done, I often face resistance within myself. I push everything off until the last minute, preferring to go on instagram, youtube, read, or write instead of doing all the things I need to do. So this is why, you need to set a deadline.
For me, I make my deadline 5pm on Fridays, because I figure that’s when millions of other people are getting out of work, driving home, and looking forward to weekend festivities. It’s a motivator for me. You could set it for any point, or if you’d like you could budget your time to work on projects until say 5pm Friday, then from 9am-noon on Saturday–whatever suits you. Just a word of caution if you break up work into multiple days, you’ll have to be sure you can commit yourself to it. So, say if you’re going to a party and drinking Friday night, there’s a good chance you’re not going to wake up to do homework.
The sooner you get things done, the better.
Now, once you’ve set your deadline, budget your time. Ask yourself, “how long should this assignment or task take?” and “how long am I willing to spend on this?” Maybe you know that calling up your bank will take 10 minutes with an extra 5 minutes to give yourself a pep talk before calling someone on the phone, and your math homework will take an hour. You’re willing to allocate an hour and a half to your philosophy paper, and thirty minutes to doing chores, etc.
3. Remove distractions. The third step is to actually go somewhere where you know you’ll be productive. This might be your desk in your dorm, the library, or the student union. Go where you may, bring along snacks, water, coffee, tea, etc, and turn off your phone. Log out of all your social media accounts, turn off the wifi, etc. Focus on only what you said you’ll do, and don’t fret about anything else. Work for however long you need to, and practice the 50-10 rule. Work for 50 minutes, then give yourself a 10 minute break, this way you can check social media, use the bathroom, whatever you need, and it will help you stay motivated. Another helpful thing to do during those breaks is to create an “I did” list. Instead of a “To-Do” list, you write down everything you did during the day/during your work period, so that way you acknowledge your accomplishments. It’s a nice motivation boost!
4. Determine what you need. Once all the “boring stuff” is out of the way, go back to the list you originally created. Ask yourself “What will bring me joy?”, “What will make me happy?”, and “How am I feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, etc?” Circle the things on your list that cater to how you feel. Maybe you feel super slugish and know that a quick workout at the gym would help you better your mood and energy level. Maybe you’re in the market for some amazing food, a spa/pamper night, a nap, or hanging with friends.
Whatever it is, take advantage of it. Don’t cheat yourself on getting what you need by being lazy. Let’s all be honest–we’ve done this. We really want pizza, but decide laying in bed on your phone for two hours will be the magic touch that makes pizza appear out of thin air. Right? I can’t be the only one.
5. Phone a friend, even if that friend is a good book. Last thing is find some time to be social, catch up with your friends. If you’re in the mood for pizza, ask your friend to tag along. Make a night of it. It can be a quick trip to the pizza place, or it can be go into town, get pizza at that amazing restaurant you’ve wanted to try out, have a drink or two, and then watch movies. Or you might prefer to have a low key night, curl up in bed with an amazing cup of tea or glass of wine and an amazing book.
Whatever it is you desire, don’t let laziness and stress get in the way of you having an amazing and memorable weekend. If you get all your obligations done, you’ll have plenty of time for adventures from exploring your college town to waking up early to take cool pics at the farmers market.