Are you a Woman In Total Control of Herself? It’s that time of the year again, and as a woman serious about my education I believe that we can all benefit from some organisation to keep on track with piling coursework and study. Having been in school for most of my life at this stage, I have gained some valuable insight on how to balance schoolwork and having a personal life.
A keystone is simplicity. While there are many resources available both online and physically to help keep you on-track and organised, a holistic approach is often best. I recommend using at most three main resources to keep you organised – any more than that can lead to the irony of frazzled disorganisation as a result of using too many tools to stay organised.
- This year, I have dedicated one physical study planner and one digital calendar as my main productivity tools.
Google Calendar is great to use for its simple and intuitive interface. I input my daily schedule of classes, study slots, train rides and any other activities to keep track of. This allows me to both free up brain space not thinking about upcoming activities and see how much free time I have on any day due to its slot-based visual layout.
The way I use my paper study planner couldn’t be any simpler. All I do is write in exams and assignment deadlines on the days that they’re due and tick them off when they’re completed. I personally cannot deal with clutter, so minimalism is key to keeping my life sorted.
I find that using a combination of digital and online-based tools optimises productivity as it becomes ever more important to stay technologically literate in our increasingly fast-paced world. It’s good to stay ahead of the game.
- Speaking of picking up speed, getting active through exercise and staying healthy with movement is essential to keeping your brain primed for taking on the world. To combat those dark grey, rainy days spent inside, why not join a sports club? As well as getting up and about, you can meet some new and like-minded people, make some friends, and even foster a healthy sense of challenging yourself through competition. Even if you’re not a sporty type, gently expanding your comfort zones will help develop confidence and mentally establish autonomy over yourself.
- Putting yourself in new situations and developing your sense of self will put you well on track to fully self-defining your unique identity. There’s a lot to get excited about. However, I know how easy it is to become quickly overwhelmed. Often, I find that meditation or prayer helps.
To help you wind down after long days of lectures and clubs – or in between classes – consider those snippets of time by yourself as opportunities for moments of mindfulness. Slow down, let out some breaths you’ve been holding, and reflect on yourself away from the world. Ruminate on whatever part of you is hurting or burnt out from bearing your weights of worldly responsibility for so long. Cherish the little acts of love from the people in your life – remember the ones you’ve lost.
The earth will keep spinning without fault, but you definitely can’t without a little self-care.
I hope you all have a wonderful return to academia, and a toast to new beginnings.