To say that my life has been a bit chaotic lately would be… an understatement. Between working about 60 hours a week at work, parenting my adorable not-quite-3 year old, trying to find a few moments to have a conversation with my spouse, and school work, I sometimes feel like I’m stuck in a whirlwind. As a student returning to school after a long absence, I’m still in the process of finding my groove. Juggling school pickups and lunch bags with study groups and midterms is both exhausting and exhilarating. Seeing that I’m capable of far more than I may have realized is such a boost of confidence. The downside is that pretty much every moment of my day is scheduled, down to the minute. With this type of pressure to cram as much as possible into one day, it can be difficult to maintain balance and stay on task. Here’s some ways I’ve found to combat that:
- Arriving to class a little early so I have time to sit down, settle in, and begin to focus on the task at hand. Having to rush in at the last minute seems to make the entire class duration feel hurried and frantic.
- When doing school work at home, I use my smart watch to alert me as to when I need to stand and walk around. Breaking up a study session with a short walk around, whether it’s to the kitchen for a drink of water, or up the stairs and down again, is usually just the break I need to be able to refocus my attention on the subject matter.
- Listening to classical music while I’m reading an especially difficult to digest chapter often helps me stay more focused on an otherwise not-so-exciting task. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but classical music really does seem to help concentration, at least for me.
- Doing school work after dinner allows me to be more present and in the moment, instead of thinking about what I need to make for dinner and how much longer until the preschooler’s bedtime.
- Rewarding myself with an episode of one of my favorite shows (currently “The Good Fight”) is a great way to keep my eyes on the prize. Once I complete the task I’m working on, I know that I can sit back with my favorite snack and immerse myself in the world of the show of my choice.
With these strategies, I have made it to the halfway point of my first semester! It may not seem like much, but I am so proud of how much I have accomplished so far. I am looking forward both to continuing to implement these into next semester and to seeing what other ways I can come up with to help keep me balanced and focused.
What strategies do you use to find your groove when entering a new stage in life?