We’ve all had those days where the only that is keeping us moving is the thought of falling into bed later that night. Those long days mean early mornings and late nights probably working on homework that was procrastinated on, working a job, stu(dying), and other commitments. It means trying to remember when you last slept for a “healthy” period of time or when you last ate. Alas, it also means that you’re working hard to earn that degree and be the person IU and all of your experiences are shaping you to be!
However, I feel the pain of a long day. I feel the pain of having so much to do in one day that you have no idea how to survive. It is you against the clock: minutes tick by and yet even a slight lapse in productiveness can equate to guilt for making this day last that much longer. It’s only a few weeks into the second semester and the long days are already happening for this senior! However, here are some quick tips for making these long days go away, or at least be a little less miserable.
1) Make Your Bed
This might seem like an interesting first tip but making your bed first thing in the morning gives you a little kick in your step. It is an organization technique that is not designed to stress you out. Also, you won’t be tempted to go lay back in it if you’re working on homework early in the morning. Making your bed is the first thing to cross off your list for a productive (long) day!
2) Make a list of the most important things to get done (set a timer)
Seriously, I live by lists. I have a physical list of To-Do’s and a Google Calendar that reminds me of all my assignments and internship responsibilities that need to be completed. I look at it at least two or three times a day to see what needs to be done. To contradict my mother who believes that doing the hard assignments first is the best way to accomplish things, I do all the easy less miserable tasks first. Find the technique that works best for you and then set aside a specific amount of time to get those things complete. Just stay away from distractions and take short breaks if necessary!
3) Use your time wisely
To tie into the last tip, use your time wisely. If a break is necessary, set a timer for ten minutes or a max of thirty minutes to destress. Shower, go for a brisk walk, start a load of laundry, or grab a snack. When in between classes, clean out your email inbox, respond to any necessary texts or emails, and begin an assigned reading ahead of time. Most of the time you will see me chilling out before my class reviewing and writing notes, reading, or knocking out a quick assignment.
4) Listen to Music
You know the students you pass each day that have headphones in. I’m talking about the ones who either look angry at the world, or the ones who might unknowingly be mouth the words to the song he/she is listening to, or the ones who might just be doing a little head bop/shoulder moving. Those students are encompassed in the music and it is probably so that others won’t talk to them or they just need a little something to maximize the day. I’m one of these students who always has headphones in and I actually am currently dancing in my desk chair because it has been one of those long days and music is keeping me going. Find that favorite song or playlist on Youtube or Spotify and get to rocking out.
Can you believe that we can actually forget to eat? It is such an important part of having enough energy to get through these long days and yet it isn’t a top priority when there are so many things on our plates. At the bare minimum, have a quick snack in your backpack. Maybe even pack a lunch to carry around and you can munch off and on all day if time doesn’t permit enough of a break.
6) Go home and sleep
When the day is done and you’ve accomplished all that you can, or all that there was to on your list, go home and go to sleep. No joke, you will probably sleep like the dead after a long day. Sleep allows you to get up and (eventually) handle another long day.
Best of luck Hoosiers as you navigate the long days that are to come this semester.