Thoughts on Getting Through the New Semester More Calmly

17 February 2020 Comments Off on Thoughts on Getting Through the New Semester More Calmly


Although being at Bilkent is still pleasant, we’ve now started moving toward the weeks with heavier workloads. I wish you a semester in which you don’t leave yourself behind; here are some ideas on what I’ve found helpful in better managing my time, so that I feel more grounded during busier days.

Get Inspired
You should know how to take a break when you get stuck in monotonous work that can affect your mood and overall performance. Engage in activities that inspire you. Use music to increase your motivation and efficiency during the day. Try to meet people who inspire you. Learn something that will change your life by always having a book with you. What I tried last semester that really worked for me was listening to podcasts while I’m running errands or when I want to have some time alone. Learning just for yourself and just out of curiosity feels really good, and podcasts make this possible. There are a lot of different options on a variety of subjects, including sports, well-being, health and psychology, if you’d like to try listening to one.

Choose the Two Most Important Things You Should Do That Day
This method is for those who often feel overwhelmed when thinking about all the things they have to do. Even when we know it’s impossible to complete everything in a single day, we still keep thinking about each task. This causes us to feel guilty about doing less. Here’s one solution: Apple founder Steve Jobs said that when meeting at the start of each day, he and his colleagues identified the two most important things they had to do that day and focused on completing them first. So, creating and adopting a to-do list that’s sorted according to your priorities will surely help, but choosing the two most important items on that list would seem to be a practical and efficient method for accomplishing what you need to. You’ll feel less stressed and more successful by getting whatever is most important done every day.

Be Able to Work (Nearly) Anywhere
It’s important to be able to work anywhere. Especially when you have an idea, get to work on it immediately, without waiting. We’re probably all familiar with that urge to procrastinate that sometimes seems to take control of us, especially in the university setting. We often make ourselves believe that we can’t complete a task in the morning, in the dorm, at home, or whatever. Although these ideas may sometimes be true, expecting to work only under specific conditions can be very inefficient at times. In fact, researchers say that a change of setting can actually increase productivity and creativity. So, why not try working at different times and in different places this term?

Don’t Overdo To-Do Lists
We should learn to make quick decisions so that things we need to do, especially in our social lives, don’t accumulate. For example, a school project may have a deadline that forces you to spend time on it, but calling an important person in your life doesn’t. That’s why, if you remember that there’s someone you haven’t checked on in a while, don’t spend time and energy putting it on your to-do list; if possible, make the call that minute. Don’t overthink how to schedule things. Sometimes making quick decisions can be so much more effective in promoting a simpler and more organized life.

Write Things Down
Writing speeds up thinking. By organizing what you have in mind, writing things down may help you see, on paper, what you haven’t been able to realize otherwise. That’s why it can be a good idea to keep a diary where you plan your life or make notes for yourself; you can use a simple notebook or a variety of digital applications. It’s said that you can remember information better if you work on it and manipulate it yourself; writing gives you the opportunity to do that.

Don’t Put Your Health on the Back Burner
Investigations show that humans are the only mammals who postpone sleeping; at university, of course, this happens due to late-night activities and sometimes all-nighters during busy school periods. However, we need sleep for better memory and focus. More importantly, we need it to protect our health, metabolism and immune system. So, putting some effort into finding ways to get the sleep we need is a good idea. We also sometimes forget about our diet when we’re always running around. This semester, try to not skip breakfast, and try to include healthier food options in your meals. Also, carrying a reusable glass bottle may help you drink more water. Finally, as we all probably know, it has been proven that regular exercise reduces stress levels, and Bilkent has plenty of good sports activities to encourage us to stay active.
Simply trying to remind ourselves that our health is a priority can help it become a priority.