Many KU students have a lot of responsibilities outside of school. Whether its work, your family, or trying to maintain a somewhat sanitary household, you’ve got a lot on your plate! We all have those days where we question if today is the day we check ourselves into the nearest psychiatric ward. Well I have good news, and bad news; the bad news is we will always have these responsibilities to bear, but the good news is there are ways to help you get through it, while keeping your sanity!

Here is a list of ideas I’ve compiled to help you better manage your responsibilities.

  1. Stay organized! – I know this seems like a task within itself sometimes but staying organized will help you all throughout your day. Ever have those mornings where you hit snooze one too many times so you’re now in a rush to make it out the door? Then, to make matters worse, you can’t seem to find your keys anywhere and you forgot to transfer your work pants from the washer over to the dryer last night. Save yourself from showing up late to work in soggy pants by keeping yourself and your areas organized. If everything were put in their proper place you would save yourself lots of time and stress.

  2. Manage your time wisely! – Try planning out your time by estimating how long you should spend on each task. If you have an hour before it’s time to pick your kids up from school and you know 30 minutes of that time will be taken up by doing laundry, 15 minutes are going to be spent on Facebook and Pinterest, and it takes you about 15 minutes to drive to the school, don’t get caught up liking and pinning on social media sites. You don’t want to be that parent that is late picking their kids up from school because you lost track of time while you were pinning gluten free dessert recipes. Stick to your allotted 15 minutes, and force yourself to lock your device. Create timers if you need a reminder.

  3. Prioritize! – This ties in closely with managing your time wisely but it’s so important it deserves its own category. Obviously you know by now that you should work first and play later, but prioritizing your tasks is not only about knowing to do your homework before firing up your DVR. Knowing the order in which your tasks need to be completed will help you avoid stressing about upcoming deadlines and reduces the chance of forgetting to do things. I suggest making a to do list to help you organize your tasks in order of importance. I don’t have a witty example for this one, sorry.

  4. Fight procrastination! – Procrastination is your worst enemy. It’s that little voice in your head that tells you, “Oh you have plenty of time to do that assignment, let’s watch American Idol instead” or “Just five more minutes and I’ll get off Candy Crush and study for my test”. When procrastination rears its ugly head, remember last week when you had to stay up until 2am because you waited so long to start that project you’ve known about for three weeks, and the grade you received for the not-so-subtle last minute poster board you threw together with a sharpie and four year old puffy paint. Do what you have to do first and THEN you get to be lazy!

  5. Reward Yourself! – This one’s my favorite! This is the step that helps the most with maintaining your sanity so list it high on your priority list. You work hard every day, going to school, to work, maintaining your household, and taking care of others around you. You deserve a break! Ever heard of the saying “all work and no play make Johnny a dull boy”? Well that is an understatement in my opinion. It should say, “All work and no play make Johnny a crazed lunatic!” I know we don’t always have the time or the money to go on a weeks’ vacation (even though we deserve one), but rewarding yourself could be as simple as scheduling ‘relaxation time’ where you can just sit and do nothing, or even make an impulse purchase just for yourself. It is ok to indulge in yourself every now and then. In fact, it’s recommended! 

So, while it’s easy to get caught up in life’s everyday challenges and everything you need to get done, remember: It’s not possible to accomplish anything if you’re locked up in a psychiatric ward. Follow these steps and you will not only keep your sanity, but you will start to enjoy life much more!

As always, feel free to email me with your comments, questions, concerns, and suggestions!

Your fellow KU student,