By Rubi Katz
Can you believe that today (presuming you’re reading this on February 2, 2021) marks exactly HALFWAY through the school year?! Unless my counting was off, today we have completed 79 days of school and have 79 remaining until the last day of classes. Whether you are awaiting the last day of school or amazed that we have been able to be in school every day for 79 days in the middle of a pandemic, use this as your motivation to get through every week as we embark on the second half of our wild 2020-2021 school year.
As I walk down the halls everyday, I hear everyone talking about how much homework they have and how this school year seems especially harder than others. Unfortunately, I am not in the position to change this, but here are 3 tips I have for tackling your heavy workload:
The first big step towards success is being productive and using your time wisely. Like many people, I have always been awful with time management. A combination of Tik Tok and not having a good way of keeping track of all my assignments has led to many hours of wasted time. Find a way to keep track of everything going on in your life that works best for you. Try writing your tasks in a journal so all of your reminders are in one place or putting sticky notes on your computer. If tactile reminders aren’t your thing, try a website such as mystudylife.com which allows you to input all of your assignments and reminders super easily. The best part about writing everything down is the feeling of crossing something off your list and eventually seeing you have accomplished everything you needed to do. Lastly, use your time wisely. Use the days where you don’t have a ton of work to get ahead on upcoming assignments — your assignments will quickly pile up otherwise. Having a few things started or even completed can make your life so much easier and hopefully reduce your stress.
You may not want to believe me but sleep is essential to thriving in school. Yes, I will admit I have pulled a few all-nighters this year doing assignments at the last minute; however, this was definitely due to my lack of time management skills (see how these tie in?). Having a good sleep schedule doesn’t only affect being able to stay up in class; studies show a strong correlation between sleep and performance in school. If you are occasionally staying up late to do homework, that is fine. But don’t make it a habit: it is really easy to fall into that pattern and very hard to get out of it. Another sleep tip that pains me to write is to do with napping. Short naps can improve your alertness, mood, and memory, but the negative effects include interference with a healthy nighttime sleep schedule and sleep inertia. So if you need a nap, aim for a short power nap and then quickly move into something productive right away.
It is really easy to get caught up in the routine of going right from school to doing your homework and only taking a break to eat or eating while doing work. While sleep and time management are super important, I think my biggest tip is to take a break and do something that makes you happy. This could include taking your dog for a walk, FaceTiming a friend or family member, doing some online shopping, or telling jokes to people (this is my favourite thing to do—plus, it makes you and the other person happy, so it’s a 2 for 1). Doing something that makes you happy helps with your mental health and also gives you an opportunity to release your stress and relax.
I hope these 3 tips will help your workload this term feel the slightest bit less crazy. Don’t forget, we are officially halfway done school!