By Daisy Wong
HELP! It’s often easy to procrastinate or let things pile up on top of each other, which causes unnecessary stress. The feeling of burying yourself under a pile of blankets or distracting yourself in hopes that everything will magically go away will be overwhelming. No fear! Here are four easy tips to use when you feel you have too much work on your plate.
1. Keep track of your tasks
Jot down ideas of what you need to do each day. Knowing what to do and laying it out visually organizes the mess in your hand. Similarly, separating your to-do list into smaller chunks relieves fears of looking at a large daunting list.
2. Organize your tasks
Eisenhower wrote, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” The Eisenhower matrix provides an easy way to prioritize your tasks. By organizing your tasks by how urgent or important your tasks are, it’s easy to figure out which ones you need to first. Complete the urgent tasks and schedule time to complete important tasks. The Ivy Lee method recommends before going to bed, write down 6, no more no less, tasks that you must complete the next day.
3. Let some things go
There are times when you simply can’t make it to every event. It’s OKAY to say “no” or “sorry I can’t make it today.” You could schedule the raincheck for a time that fits better for you. It’ll feel better when you get to scratch the line through your completed tasks. It’s also okay to put off tasks that might be important, but not urgent. No one can complete everything perfectly.
4. Don’t forget to take breaks!
Doing task after task gets difficult and tedious. Set a healthy “study-to-break ratio”. This could look like 45 minute study periods with 15-minute breaks. Drink water, go on a walk, read a book, or even reward yourself with a few minutes on your phone. Don’t forget to set timers so you don’t get off task. These breaks are necessary to release dopamine so you can feel successful and rewarded as you complete work.
The first step is to always get started. If you want to roll a ball down a hill, you need to first give it a push. Once it’s started, it’ll be easier to continue and feel a sense of accomplishment.