With the holidays right around the corner, and upcoming finals and projects for many students, what is said to be the most wonderful time of year can be the most stressful time of year. Putting in 60+ hour weeks when I was in college definitely taught me time management and how to cope with stress. Here are three simple things I did to try and stay sane in the most stressful of times:
1. Make a to-do list. Yes, this seems like a no brainer, but research has shown your mind can only remember three to four things at once. That’s not very many for a busy person! Physically writing items down on paper really helps me sort thoughts, and writing helps me to remember more than I would using a phone or a computer. There’s also something so satisfying about actually crossing things off once complete. It’s important to keep your list realistic and reasonable. When there’s about 100 things to do, prioritize and break it down into a smaller list for the day. Ask yourself, “What would I be satisfied accomplishing for today?” Since this is something you’re constantly looking at, it also helps to have a cute planner or notebook, like these for example. :)
2. Eliminate distractions. Let’s face it, we are controlled by notifications. The second you try to get in the zone.. Bing! Text message. Oh look, Facebook notifications. Hmm, what’s going on in Twitterverse… and before you know it, time is slipping away and nothing has been achieved. The best thing you can do for yourself is close out of those windows, turn your phone on silent and flip it over. Make it a goal to focus for a solid 30 minutes. It does take self control, but you’ll be amazed at how much you accomplish. Control your notifications, don’t let them control you.
3. Exercise. When you’re crazy busy, you may think the last thing you have time for is exercising. But in fact, a super quick exercise sesh can boost your productivity and help you to cross off more on your list. Exercising releases all of the good feels, aka endorphins, that get you pumped. Taking 15 minutes to do something as simple as going for a walk, jog, or bike ride will improve your alertness, concentration, and help you to sleep better. Sounds like a pretty good deal, eh? Move it, move it!
Notice how the list is short? Hopefully these are easy to remember! While it’s impossible to eliminate stress, simple coping techniques that don’t require much effort can make a world of difference.