Hello everyone, and welcome to the new year and another semester at York University! This year the Media team and I are kicking off 2016 with the theme of “Renewal”, which is a topic that speaks a lot to me. We all change and experience so much in a year, a week, or even one weekend away visiting family. I’m sure all of us had something planned for the holidays, either it be visiting family, spending some time with a loved one(s), or even just going away on a trip. We all had some time to step away from school and take time to find ourselves again, and remember the things that motivate us.
In this week’s blog, I’m going to go through some tips and techniques that might help you renew your strategies for managing your time.
1. Set Daily Goals
The one thing I’ve learned in my life is that there is a difference between driving and coasting, and when relating this to our lives, we are either taking control of the steering wheel, or we are just riding on cruise control hoping something magical happens. I prefer to have control and make the thoughts in my mind, which are fabrics of imagination, untouchable, and not visible to the naked eye, and then convert them into reality by simply writing the ideas or tasks I need completed down on a piece of paper making it exist and a part of the real world.
It’s much easier to look at a piece of paper and see the list of things I want to accomplish, rather than storing it all in my head, where that energy is much better used else where.
It allows you to see all the things you accomplished and the things you failed to do. Although you may not have finished some of your tasks, at least you know you didn’t complete them and strive to finish them in time, compared to not thinking about it at all.
Setting attainable goals helps you stay on top of your priorities, allowing you to feel accomplished, which will help combat the days where you felt so busy but yet didn’t really accomplish that much.
2. Schedule your appointments and don’t forget ME time!
It can be easy to be glued to your computer screen, or have your nose in the books because you’re worried about losing time being unproductive. Schedule your tasks for the times and days you’ll be working on them. You could even front load some work you have or spread them evenly among the days available to you so you’re not rushing last minute finishing assignments.
Make sure to schedule some “me” time, to get up and take a walk, stretch, watch some Netflix if that’s your thing. The Apple Watch has an application that detects when you’ve been sitting too long and gently taps you reminding you to get up and move around. Stand Up! is a similar app for the iPhone. Check out the app here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/stand-up!-the-work-break-timer/id828244687?mt=8
The important thing is to give yourself time and space to breathe. Giving yourself “me” time helps ground yourself, and helps gives you balance. The one thing I’ve learnt about “me” time, is that it allows me to feed my passions, and to remember the things that make me who I am. Nothing is more distracting or frustrating than to lose a sense of yourself and your identity.
Speaking of losing things, sometimes we waste precious time looking for things we’ve lost or misplaced. Searching for your phone, wallet, keys, or even a pen can be very inconvenient and can really throw a kink in your productivity and cause stress. “Tile,” a product I’ve recently been using, allows you to search for items it is attach to via your phone, or the Tile product itself. It’s a great way to find your stuff quickly by listening to the sounds it emits.
Stress can creep into our daily lives because of all of the tasks that can pile on top of each other over time. I think keeping on top of your responsibilities and prioritizing is important, but sometimes it’s not enough and we’re left in a difficult position with the unexpected. If you’re feeling like your stuck, unable to talk to anyone, just remember the Bennett Centre provides personal counselling to help provide professional assistance and a supportive environment for York students. Glendon also provides counselling and disability services as well.
3. Get your answers
If you’re still unsure about the path you are taking right now, I’d recommend taking a short stop to visit an advisor. This can help you figure out if the program you are in is really for you, and if you’re worried about the requirements for graduating, you can benefit from seeing an advisor as well. Nothing is worse than being in the dark and not knowing all of your options, and having so many questions with no answers. Whether it be advising, or connecting with a peer/ mentor about some questions they could help answer for you, I say go and get out there and do it, even if you’re afraid about what the answers could be. The one quote I’ve come across this holiday is one from a little green friend: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” -Yoda
4. Enjoy the ride
In the end, this is your life, and this is your journey. No matter the situation, or trials and tribulations we come across, we need to enjoy the ride. It’s a new year, which in most cases means it’s an opportunity for a new start; to be a better you. To get a little more out of your school year, and a little more out of yourselves. So take chances, and make some commitments that you’ll follow through. I believe we all have a path, something we’re destined to do, something we’ll be passionate and good at, and can be happy making a living out of, we just need to take the leap of faith and do it.
Make sure to check out my fellow teammate’s upcoming blogs as they will have tips and stories that will give you other perspectives and alternatives to help you.