October 14, 2017, by Chloe

Finding the time to do ‘everything’

University life is a treasure trove of opportunities. There’s so many things I want to get involved with on a daily basis. It would be silly of me not to take up these chances whilst I can. But time and energy are huge factors that need to be considered.

Since being involved in Welcome Week as a mentor I’ve found a renewed interest in everything the students union has to offer. Despite already being involved in Night Owls and Student Minds, at the Get Involved fair I found myself signing up for about ten other societies. Realistically, I know I may only attend one or two sessions from these. It’s so difficult to narrow down choices when everything looks so interesting! It also doesn’t help when friends are actively promoting their societies as well. I’m also trying to remind myself that I’m in second year now and my marks count now so I shouldn’t take on too much. Yet second year for me is weighted less than third year, so maybe now is the time to embrace as much as possible.

Balancing academic work with fun activities is a constant task, but a less obvious challenge is balancing weekly academic work such as seminar readings with longer term work like essays. Both are vital and it’s difficult to know which one to prioritise. It’s slightly clearer once deadlines start approaching more rapidly, although simultaneous deadlines present new challenges.

Aside from university and societies, there are other aspects of life to consider, like cooking, housework, seeing friends or visiting home. Oh, and I nearly forgot – SLEEPING. I have such admiration for people who manage to balance all these things more successfully than I do.

So how can I find the time for ‘everything’?

I’ve been thinking about what I already do to juggle my current commitments and what strategies I can use now to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed:

  1. Visualise my timetable – I have a yearly calendar on the wall for appointments and when I’m going away so I know in advance when I’m busy. I then have a weekly calendar where I include lecture times, society commitments and other events.
  2. Keep the to-do list manageable – My to-do lists are never simple. I’m going to start separating them into urgent/time critical and ideal jobs. I can then allocate chores to each day rather than letting them build up.
  3. Rest and acceptance – Realistically, I know I will not succeed in doing everything I want to do. It would be better for me to allocate time for proper rest and do fewer things better.
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