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How to Avoid Spreading Yourself Too Thin at College

There are so many things at college that students have to do: study for classes, collaborate on projects, polish resumes, work part- or full-time jobs, and much more. It can feel like a lot, and if not managed properly the workload can start to overwhelm you. This is why it’s important not to spread yourself too thin when it comes to everything at college. Here are some effective ways to avoid this:

  1. Divide Up Your Time

Learning how to effectively manage your time is a major skill you will need to learn in college. To avoid causing yourself undue stress with all the work you have to do, try to divide out your work for the day to give yourself enough time to get everything done.

An easy way to do this is by creating a schedule for the day in a planner or calendar; allotting a certain amount of time for each activity.

This will ensure that you keep track of everything you have to get done and leave yourself a time table for accomplishing each task. Whether you’re making time for studying, working on homework, working on projects or any other activity, keeping a schedule can help make your life easier to manage.

  1. Take Breaks In Between Your Work

Though there is a lot of work to get done at college, it is very important that you give yourself some time to relax. Taking breaks during your work can drastically reduce your stress and reinvigorate yourself to complete the rest of your work. You can do this by setting goals for yourself during your work sessions.

For example, if you effectively work for an hour or so, reward yourself by taking fifteen minutes to walk around, talk to friends, or check your phone. Not only can this improve your work ethic, but it prevents you from overworking yourself, which is detrimental to your physical and mental health. Decide on how many breaks to give yourself based on the time available and the amount of work you have to get done. With this level of efficiency, you should be able to get your work done in a much less stressful manner.

  1. Leave Time to Relax

In addition to taking breaks, plan or schedule time for specific activities you enjoy doing when your work is all finished. This is key for ensuring the management of your stress long-term. After all, if your whole schedule, every day and every week, is all centered around work you’ll eventually burn yourself out. Include fun or enjoyable activities and hobbies into your schedule too.

What does this look like? Well, it could be an outing with your friends, working out at the gym, going hiking, watching a movie, or whatever other activities you like doing. Just make sure to pick something that helps you unwind and keeps you from feeling stressed out.

  1. Don’t Overextend Yourself

College is full of opportunities to participate in clubs, organizations, and other extracurricular activities. You should definitely take advantage of these opportunities to give yourself new experiences. However, there is a possibility for many people taking on too much work during one term. In my freshman year, I joined many different organizations and committed a lot of my time to them, but I found that it left me little time to study and not enough time to do school work. In the end, I had to give up some of those activities to relieve some of my stress. Don’t let this happen to you. Balance yourself by outlining in a calendar how many hours any club or activity will require of you. Check that against the number of classes you have to attend, likely the number of hours you’ll need to study, and the number of major projects you might have to complete. Scale back as needed.

The key to not spreading yourself too thin is learning to manage your time effectively and balance your workload. College is full of amazing opportunities that you should take part in, but you must also manage that time with your schoolwork. This becomes much more important as the semester goes on and the workload intensifies, especially if you have to work a job on top of that. Keep a schedule, leave time to relax, and don’t give yourself more work than you can handle.