So exams are finally over! I woke up this morning at 5.30 (as usual), sat bolt upright in bed and immediately the stress kicked in. I have become so used to this 5-hours-a-night sleep routine for no other reason than there simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to sleep for any longer. Upon the realisation that I actually sat my last exam yesterday, I sank back into bed, and managed to fall back asleep for another hour (trust me, 6.30 is a luxurious lie in in my world).
I've lost count of the amount of times people have told me it's easy being a student because of the lack of contact hours and relentless partying, but for me that is simply not the case. Trying to juggle my blog, my social media accounts, being treasurer of two university societies, a campus rep for Victoria's Secret PINK, along with dedicating the personal time I need at the gym and food prepping all whilst trying to maintain a first class honours degree can get pretty challenging at times… I'm lucky if I can even squeeze in one phone call a week with my boyfriend, and I can't actually remember the last time I sat down and watched TV. But hey ho, that's the lifestyle I have chosen and I would't have it any other way.
A few people have left comments or emailed me recently asking how I find time to keep my blog going along with everything else I've got going on, and the honest answer? Recently I haven't. I have regrettably neglected my blog, and after hours and hours of tweaking last night, it's new mini facelift has given me the perfect motivation to fall back in love with blogging. We all have times when things get a little bit too much, but things will always smooth over again. Below are my five little tips about how to stay organised when you feel overwhelmed with commitments:
001. Plan - I cannot emphasise this one enough. I literally timetable every single waking hour of my life. It sounds incredibly sad (and it probably is), but it is honestly the only way I could get through each week without a full blown breakdown. I have a huge excel document with every day of the month down the left hand side, and every hour of the day across the top. I then fill in exactly how I will spend all my hours (within reason). Not only does this help you reach mini goals with coursework deadlines and writing blog posts, but you also feel amazingly calm if you manage to get ahead of schedule and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing off activities as they are completed.
002. Don't leave things until the last minute - When you're set a deadline and have weeks to complete it, it is incredibly easy to place it to the back of your mind and focus on the more imminent deadlines. However, only focusing on one thing will lead to a constant cycle of stress and panic that activities and commitments will not be fulfilled. Plan ahead, set mini deadlines and most importantly plan some down time too!
003. Buy a filofax - Or some other form of planner or organiser. Technology is great, but nothing truly beats pen and paper. I carry my filofax with me at all times, and as well as acting as a diary and notebook it is great for blog post planning too. It's always handy to keep a journal close by because the best ideas often come at the most random times and it becomes much easier to plan if you can jot them all down in a central location
004. Make a list - I am an avid list maker. I make lists for everything- I make that many lists that my to do lists have to do lists. But lists really do help. It is great to visualise everything so that your brain can get a better grasp on the amount of things you need to complete
005. Don't panic - I know, how hypocritical coming from the world's #1 panicker. Although I am still partial to the occasional panic, years of experience have taught me that this state of mind is unbelievably counter productive. You won't achieve anything if your mind is running at 120mph just trying to process the task it is trying to complete. Sit down, tidy your desk, have a cup of tea and ease yourself through your long list of commitments slowly. Be kind to yourself and celebrate every milestone you pass.