As students, we can all get a little (or a lot) stressed out with all of our commitments, friendships, relationships, school, work, extracurriculars, a social life, a family life, and more, and more. However, there are ways to make it more enjoyable and change the way that you time manage and prepare to turn in assignments and block out time. No one wants to be sleep deprived and writing a paper, or stressed out beyond belief and have no energy to try to do work or deal with other people.
Stress can be a good thing, but like many things, too little or too much can result in a lot of incomplete assignments, procrastination, and an unhealthy physical and mental lifestyle. In my life, I find that on one week or even one day, if everything is scheduled for that day, and I can’t move my schedule around; then it can obviously lead to a lot of unneeded stress. So here are some of my tips on how to stop being so stressed:
Set actionable goals
When I’m stressed, often times I find that I’m not able to prioritize, so to help you do that, create a journal or a ‘Notes’ section on your phone that will allow you to write down all of your ideas and accomplishments that you need to get done that day. Making them small at first can also help you grasp how much time you need, and always make them smaller to make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed. To motivate you even more, you can keep a cute or fun notebook and a good pen to make you want to do it more. Keep it on your dresser or bedside table or carry it with you, so you can check off your goals throughout the day.
Plan major assignments
To plan major assignments or projects, make sure that you see the big picture for the long run. For example, should you spend an hour thinking of a title when you haven’t proofread it yet? Most likely not, so make sure to prioritize and focus on little things everyday. Make an outline, then provide examples, and another day put it all together, and move on from there. Remembering how long you need to complete an assignment can also be difficult for many, always keep that in mind and set a reminder a week or so before to remind yourself, or write it at the top of your outline.
Block out time
Backwards planning can be a good studying and working tool. Setting a schedule from the date it is due to the time you are at now can allow you to delegate a schedule to stay on top of the project, and set deadlines for yourself. Always remember to leave time for emergencies, like an unsaved Word doc or the loss of a source.
Give yourself small rewards
Staying motivated can be hard despite all your efforts, so another method of motivation is to make small deals with yourself for when you finish work. For example, when you finish a math worksheet or a major part of a project, you can take an extra break, eat another piece of chocolate, or go on a walk. This can help you to stay more balanced in your break to work ratio and allow for healthier, less obsessive study habits. (Editor’s note: RaiseMe is also a great way to see what small rewards colleges are waiting to give you for your achievements!)
Use other resources and tools
Although exercises and mindsets can be helpful, there are also other resources out there that can be utilized to help you de-stress and time manage better:
For your phone
- Headspace: a meditation app that can help you to stay focused and clear-minded in your goal
- CalmHarm: this is specifically made for teens and adults who struggle with self-harm but can also help you to relax with small exercises and motivation
- Sweatcoin: this is an app that can be downloaded for free onto your phone that generates real money from your walking and running steps, and allows for you to buy gift cards and goods using the money you gain from it
For your computer
- myHomework: this is a website and an app that you can download for free onto your phone and PC that allows you to plan and organize your homework and easily see how much you have for each day.
- Zen Coloring Book: an app that you can download onto your laptop or computer that is a virtual coloring book that lets you calm down and color.
- Block Site: there are countless extensions that you can install on your Google Chrome browser to block websites that you know will distract you and keep you on task.
- Spotify: there are many great study and relaxation playlists on Spotify that allow you to focus better and can help to soothe you. Some good artists include ‘Jinsang’ and ‘Yo Yo Ma.’ Simply click ‘Browse’ and scroll down to the ‘Focus’ tab to find some good playlists suited to your study method.
Stress has always been a part of high school and college, but limiting the stress to productive stress is extremely important. Some of these methods of de-stressing or time management may not work for you, because we are all different, and our study habits and healthy activities vary across a large spectrum.
My only advice, as someone who gets stressed out all of the time, and works to find something that can work for a long amount of time. It can be something completely random: cleaning your room, watching YouTube videos, singing as loud as you can, FaceTiming your friends, doing your makeup, or writing a story. No matter what your method of de-stressing might be, I hope you’ll find that these tactics improve your lifestyle and make your workload more manageable! Good luck!