Perhaps you would do well by UNSCHEDULING your time. Rather than schedule in work and see if there is time left for play, try scheduling in your play time. You’ll soon see the unscheduled blocks of time you have for work – without feeling you are depriving yourself of fun.
If you follow the advice in this article on unscheduling, you’ll be able to have the guilt-free play time you have scheduled in. No surprises here, it does mean that play time can’t be all day; the unscheduled time is now for work in productive chunks. The really good news is that the work is done without feeling bad for wanting to play!
A student recommends an app called “Habitica.” It helps them to improve their work habits and their self care. Habitica turns your goals and to-do lists into a social media-supported game. See if it would help you.
Earn gold for doing what you need to do anyway!
Get more work done in 25 minute increments – take 5 minute breaks in between.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that can help you get more work done in a realistic way – without burning out. But what do tomatoes have to do with it*?
The Pomodoro Technique uses a 25-minute tomato timer to help you stay on track. Watch a video about the technique, read some tips, and use an online timer or download a Pomodoro Timer app.
You can use the technique to get started (“O.K., I’m having trouble getting started, but I can just see how I am doing after 1 Pomodoro”). Or you can use it to extend your work time (“Yesterday I wrote for 3 Pomodoro’s in the morning; today I am going to do 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon”). Or, you can use it to work in spurts and get short breaks (“I keep sitting and working too long; I’ll take a stretch break after 1 Pomodoro”).
Soon you’ll be asking friends: “how many pomodoros did you work today?”
*After a while you might realize that this could work with any fruit or vegetable timer 🙂
Div III students sometimes seem to revel in being stressed. It almost seems contagious. Yes, Div III poses some new challenges. But maybe you could learn to enjoy those challenges. Be excited by all you will learn – not only about what you are studying, but about yourself and each other. Being able to manage a big project is something not everyone gets to learn in college! Figuring out how to work backwards from a deadline will serve you in life. Knowing how to get work done in the spaces between things is an important skill. You are in control of whether this feels like bad stress or interesting challenge with the potential for growth.
If all this sounds like an interesting proposition, consider listening to this TED talk by Kelly McGonigal on “How to make stress your friend.”