Needless to say that after the Winter Quarter whirlwind of class, work, rain, and general slump-ery, Spring could not have been more readily received. Sprawling under the sun, going to concerts, darties, fountain hopping, looking forward to the summer, stealthily avoiding caterpillars…
So what do you do when your Spring social life blooms whilst your workload is as demanding as ever? We’re talking Spring cleaning (of your calendar)!
Starting this quarter off was a balancing act between two jobs, ASSU Senate, 17 units of project-heavy classes, finishing applications, worrying about summer plans, and throwing social commitments on top off all of that. Writing out my schedule, including meals and eight hours of sleep each night, I noticed that I had way too much going on with nowhere near enough time to get all of it done. I started missing deadlines, asking for extensions, losing sleep, and even taking a week off from one of my jobs to catch up. As soon as my work fell behind, my social sphere started to collapse too. Either I was canceling plans or sacrificing the time I had set aside for work. Feeling alone and overwhelmed, I realized it was time to make some cuts in my calendar.
The first thing to go was a job. I realized that there were valuable morning hours I could devote to class projects; in fact, I knew that morning and early afternoon time slots are typically my most productive, so spending them at work had been putting my projects at a standstill. I pulled out all of my syllabi and slapped deadlines onto my calendar. Working backwards, I gauged how much time each assignment would take and blocked out times throughout the days I had to work on them. I knew that Fridays were my free days, which I had been using to dump all of my meetings, appointments, homework, and social plans. Noting this, I committed to using Fridays to get as much work done as possible to put me in a good place for the next week. Now I keep my Fridays flexible, and my nights are typically free. The same goes for the weekend: if I have a kick of motivation, I’ll commit to using it toward completing a small task that frees up later time for friends.
Even with edits to your calendar, you may find yourself packed. And that’s okay! The trick is keeping track of how you react to your schedule, how your schedule reacts to you, and making adjustments as you go. Some aspects are simply non-negotiable: eight hours of sleep, meals, and classes. Just about everything else can be worked with. That isn’t to say you should ever cut out social plans entirely! Keeping up with your social well-being can keep you motivated and emotionally healthy. For me, I chose to focus on smaller gatherings and hangouts instead of investing as much energy into larger parties or events. That way, I’m able to maintain strong relationships while also being mindful of my workload. My planner looks cleaner, and I am in a much better space to sustain this quarter’s commitments!
Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash