As I sat in class this weekend, I was reflecting on what I’ve gotten better at in graduate school over the past few years in comparison to my undergraduate work habits. Time management was the first thing to pop into my head. Procrastination is killer – we all go through it, and end up kicking ourselves when we realize that paper is due at 8 in the morning and it’s 9pm the night before. Or maybe it was that work project that you were supposed to be working on for the past two weeks and realize you’ve let it all pile up on your desk, only to create a swamp of messy paperwork that makes no sense!
When I graduated from St. Mary’s, I made a promise to never torture myself with leaving everything last minute as I did with midterms, term papers, and finals in undergrad. As I got to graduate school, I didn’t keep my promise and quickly fell back into old habits. And the stress was back, quickly! I stopped, took a deep breath, and started thinking of ways to help myself manage my time.
As we all approach the end of a timeline – graduation from high school, graduation from undergrad/graduate school, fiscal year endings at our jobs -whatever it may be, use these tips and share others here on this blog on how to stay focused and achieve your best work.
Our Facebook post had two great recommendations come through:
- Student Alvin Somwaru reminded us of healthy eating habits! Making sure we get enough fresh fruits and vegetables to supply our bodies with the energy we need to keep up with our work is always a plus! And he warned to stay away from overloading on sugar and caffeine- it provides only temporary increases in energy, but consequently ends up making our mind and body crash when it wears off.
- Our supporter Vincent Townsend suggested exercising. Think of it as refueling – getting your heart pumping brings oxygen to your brain and other parts of your body, giving you a feeling of being refreshed. It also gives you stress relief when it begin to build up from sitting and thinking about everything we have to do. Take a break, enjoy the outdoors, and go for a run!
And don’t forget to celebrate! Once you’re done (maybe even finished up early??), make sure to give yourself a treat! Get out, enjoy a nice meal, have fun with your friends, and give yourself a pat on the back for working through it!
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.
-Stephen R. Covey
Cheers to a wonderful week!