When starting a new season of life, it’s easy to have grand plans of everything you want to do. However, like going to the buffet, if you take on too much in the beginning, you won’t be able to make it all the way to the end. If you’re the kind of person that loads up your goal plate at the beginning of the semester and then falls short, this article is for you.
Prioritize your time
Some of the most important decisions you make during the week are what to do each day. It may feel like you have all the time in the world to gallivant and hang out with friends. In reality, after going to class, eating, sleeping, and studying, there’s less time than you may think. This is why the number one way to prevent burnout is to prioritize. Take a moment to decide what the most important commitments are in your life. This will help you to say no to those that don’t get you closer to your goals.
Balance recharge and stress
This brings me to my next point: be aware of the things that recharge you and that the things that drain you. Some events on your schedule will be fun, like lunch with friends and events on campus, while others may take more out of you, like studying. Inevitably, we’ll all encounter both stressors and stimulants, but if you’re filling your schedule with obligations that fatigue you emotionally and/or physically, you’ll be at an increased risk for burnout. The best thing to do is to balance them out. If you know you have an exam to study for, make time to relax after by getting some exercise or listening to music.
Keep your eye on the prize
One of the most challenging feats for any person is time management. This is something that we’ve all struggled with at some point or another. As a busy college student myself, I’ve found that the best way to make the most of my time is to pay attention to where it’s getting lost. I like to socialize, so if I’m not careful, I’ll spend 6 hours a week talking with neighbors and old friends I run into on campus. For you, it may be watching TV, spending too long in the cafeteria or hours spent scrolling through social media.
I challenge you this week to keep track of how many hours you lose to unintentional activities. Take inventory of these hours and make them meaningful! Instead of going on Instagram for two hours while procrastinating homework, knock it out so you can play basketball with friends or check out that new club you thought about joining.
As we approach the halfway point of the semester, we’re all swamped with midterms and the demands of life, so intentionally preventing burnout is key. At the end of the day, overcommitting and doing poor quality work won’t get you far. What’s most impactful is picking the things most important to you and doing them with excellence. Balance the draining commitments with activities that restore. Finally, remember to keep track of your lost time. If you follow these three tips, you’ll be able to tackle mid semester burnout like a pro, leaving you happy, healthy and successful!