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Deal me in

By Tanveen Rai, 3rd-year Biology/Psychology student

For a lot of students, this is a very busy time of the year. Midterms are underway and there is no end in sight as far as assignments go. Oh, but did I mention that final exams are also right around the corner? And my room is a mess! I still have a pile of dishes to do! Who’s going to do my laundry? I want to go to the gym too! At some point all your commitments and everyday chores get to be very overwhelming!

When this happens the best thing to do is just to take a step back from it all and do something fun — maybe just ten minutes, or maybe you need an hour. Take a break and then go back to your work with a re-focused attention span.

Know that things aren’t going to stay the way they are for long, and don’t forget you often have the power to change whatever it is you don’t like. Try to view setbacks as opportunities: how will you handle the problems that come up in life?

A French philosopher named Voltaire drives this point home when he says, “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”

A few strategies to better your game include:

  • Setting realistic goals

Most people tend to overestimate the amount of work they can actually get done in a set period of time. When planning what needs to be done give yourself leeway so that you are not constantly disappointed that what needed to be done but didn’t get done. It was not because you didn’t work hard enough; your goals were just not realistic!

  • Prioritizing your workload

This is very important because it allows you to visualize what actually needs to be done. The immediate concerns become apparent and less important tasks can be put off for some time.

  • Creating a weekly schedule or to do list

Planning your time using a weekly schedule or making a to do list are both great strategies to prevent you from getting behind. Everyone is different and if you prefer precisely mapping out your time a weekly schedule is great. However, some people are not able to predict how their days will go and what their mood will be like. A to do list is a much more flexible option. Also, make sure to include social events in addition to schoolwork when planning your time.

Overall, we need to learn to make the best of what we have. Learn more in our time management module.

Make a promise with me. I, insert name here, solemnly swear to avoid procrastination and instead stay motivated and power through the rest of the month! Don’t forget to take time out for yourself and have fun. Just remember it’s you that has all the power!

Feeling powerful yet?