Balancing Your Schedule

by Colleen Lindberg

Sophomore or junior year has hit and all of a sudden, you aren’t just taking classes and attending a couple of club meetings per week. Nope, now you’re on the e-board of a club, a member of two others, working on campus, trying to get an internship, taking five classes, attending group meetings and trying to fit a social life in there somehow. I’ve been there, and I figured out how to make it work. Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with writing, but I promise you it does. Three words: Microsoft Outlook Calendar. Use it; love it; rely on it. Some tips:

  1. Color code: Use red for class, blue for meetings, purple for work, yellow for social events, etc. If your calendar is going to be filled, it will be easier to read (and look better) as a rainbow than an overwhelming sea of light blue.
  2. Schedule everything: And I mean EVERYTHING. While Outlook is great for keeping track of meetings and events, it is also meant to keep you sane. Schedule the times you want to go to the gym, the time you need for homework, and even the time you need to watch Netflix (yes you need to watch Netflix). Scheduling in these buffers gives you time to decompress; otherwise you’ll feel overbooked and stressed out.
  3. Check first: Never agree to something until you’ve checked your Outlook Calendar because although Monday at 6 sounds like a good time to meet your group, I bet you forgot about the Writing Center appointment you made a week ago for that same time. Check your calendar before you agree and then immediately enter your new commitment.
  4. Say no: It’s okay, I promise. This is probably the most important one. While you may have the time to work two jobs, be in three clubs, and take five classes, do you have the time to do it all well while maintaining your sanity? Probably not. Pick and choose what you say yes to: I know it’s hard, but sometimes saying no is the better decision.

Long story short: WRITE IT DOWN. Use Outlook Calendar and stick to it, and your 8 billion things that you need to do this week will get done if you’re organized. Now don’t even get me started on using an agenda book for homework assignments…

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About BentleyWritingCenter

This is the official blog of the Bentley University Writing Center staff.
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