For a lot of people, at least here in the States, things are really starting to pile up around this time of year. It’s a common time for birthdays, there are various regional holidays, and the school year is in full swing (and possibly gearing up for finals). It’s more than enough to make your head spin, if you’re not careful.

Naturally, it’s common to feel overwhelmed in the face of all this. There’s little you can safely put off or set aside, and just as you clear your plate a bit more and more piles up. But coping with this is not impossible. Chances are you’ve done it before. Whether you feel you did a good job or not, half the power is in the doing to begin with.

If you need a little more help, I’ve got some troubleshooting tips as always.

  • Is there anything you should prioritize, and anything that’s less of a priority? Your best friend’s birthday might take precedence over doing your best on an assignment worth a tiny percentage of your grade, for example. Or, completing your essay by the due date might have to take priority over going shopping with your relative. There’s no wrong way to prioritize, but I would recommend keeping in mind how weighty every assignment is on your grade, how you’re already doing in your classes, and in the case of balancing your personal life with your school work, the consequences of saying no.
  • Is there anything you can say “no” to? Saying no can be super scary for some people, but it’s important when you’re already busy and have a lot on your plate. And at the end of the day, school is about more than getting straight A’s – while I would never endorse making a habit of it, sometimes just dropping an assignment altogether can work out for the best in the long run.
  • Is there anything you can do to take better care of yourself right now? It almost seems like a contradiction to advocate for self care when a time crunch is the problem, but it’s not. For instance, pulling an all-nighter can get you out of a tough spot, but it’ll make thinking over the course of the next day much harder. Make sure you’re eating enough, drinking water, and getting the sleep that you can. Even if you must eat while working or something.
  • Is there anyone you can ask for help from? Asking for help can be difficult, but everybody needs help sometimes. Even if there’s no one who can help you directly with your school work, having someone give you rides to class, or babysit your kids for you, or just listen to you vent about things can make a massive difference in the long run. Just be sure to repay the favor when you’re able!

Be sure to also take a look at some of my past articles on time management and dealing with others. It’s a tough world out there, but it’s not impossible to get through it.

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