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How to keep control of the steering wheel (AKA your schedule)

By Inderpreet Gill

Being a university student is more than just academics. Extra-curricular activities are great ways to get involved and make new friends, explore new interests or continue participating in old interests. I found being a part of a club or an organization as a way to take a break from school when I needed to.

When I first started getting involved with extra-curricular activities, my schedule went from being relatively empty to not at all empty. With every meeting that I added to my calendar, I started to feel like I was losing control. I was not in charge of my days as much anymore. It was great that I was getting involved but this wave of anxiety came over me because my days were being chipped away to this meeting and that meeting.

It was not until I started forgetting about deadlines or missing meetings that I realized something needed to change. The anxiety only escalated because I had no sense of my own schedule. I needed to find a balance if I wanted to continue being involved.

Here is what I did to gain control over my schedule again:

  1. Get an agenda. I also like to have an electronic calendar. I have easier access to my phone during the day so it helps to take a quick glance at what my day looks like when I wake up in the morning.
  2. Enter important dates (assignment deadlines, midterm and exam dates) into your calendar(s)/agenda(s).
  3. Schedule in your extra-curricular meetings and event dates.

This worked for me because deadlines and meeting dates were on paper and not in my head anymore. I had this sense of relief when I saw everything laid out on paper.

When everything was in my head, I felt as if I did not have enough time in a day to do school work or things like laundry. Seeing it on paper, I had my “aha!” moment because it turns out, I did have enough time in my days to myself where I could work on assignments, FaceTime my family, and do some laundry. I have discovered a system that works for me when schedule my daily life and it has been less stressful since.

We have plenty of resources to help you discover your system, too.

Photo courtesy of Sh4rp_i under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.