Is it your first day at school? New job position? Or just a Monday? Whatever the reason, I understand what you're feeling. I've been there and done that. Try and relax. Take a deep breath. Hold it for a few seconds and then release slowly. Repeat until you've calmed down. Here's the good news. I'm willing to bet that things are not as bad as it seems. Sure there will be a few where I'm wrong but the odds are in my favor. 🙂 So just read on a little further before you panic again.
It seems to me that the reason we get worked up is because everything is running through our head. We start feeling overwhelmed because when we start to think about everything we need to do, the list does not seem to want to end. The start of a new project or a new school, be it elementary, middle, high school, college, or graduate school is prime time for this overwhelming feeling to take over. Don't let it. The good news is that you are not the first person to feel this way and all those people before you survived and you will too.
Until you get your to do list out of your head onto a piece of paper or computer screen, you're going to drive yourself crazy. Make a game plan and don't be surprised if things are not as bad as they seemed initially. :
- Make a list of everything you need to do. Don't hold back on the small stuff like “Buying laundry detergent”
- Next to each item write the due date or date that you need to have it completed and how long it will take you to complete it.
- Reorder your list based on due dates first and then by how long it'll take you to finish. (note: if you write on a piece of paper, you'll probably have to rewrite your list.)
- Look at your reordered list and move things around based on priority or just because you know better. For example I switched Haven and the Computer Science Project because I need to get my work done before I can play. 😉
- Add your list to your calendar/planner. This is an optional step but is helpful in seeing how your list plays in with the rest of your life.
If you didn't notice, I also switched my “Reviewing Computer Science 104” to before the study group. I did that because I like to get the shorter/faster things done first so I feel more accomplished. 😀 It's really a personal choice but do what works for you. I prefer a handwritten game plan because I like the feeling of crossing things out, but that's my preference. You need to find yours.
If you have a project due this is a great way of keeping yourself on task. Divide your project up into tasks and do the same things mentioned here.
Two helpful (free + Mac & Windows friendly) apps and programs that could help you are:
If you did the above you now have a game plan so now just oo out there and make moves!!
Do you have a different method that works for you? Do you have another app or program you'd recommend? Share with us in the comments below.
Update: I just realized that some of you may brush this off because it takes time out of the little time you have. But you would be surprised by how much time and stress you save by taking a few minutes to get yourself a game plan. 🙂