Advice to a College Senior | Time & Planning

Do you remember your mom getting on to you about not getting your chores done on time?  Or, maybe you had the dad who worked so much and when he got home wanted to just sit and watch tv or “veg out” as he might have called it!  Maybe you were like me and one of your favorite things to do was come home after the first day of school and get your planner setup.  (we’ve already established that I was “that kid”)

Whatever your method, we learned, good or bad, our method for planning and not planning from
those who raised us.  These skills could have been influenced by our teachers, or parents, a friend or a bad experience.  And whether they work for us now or will be changed and vetted over time they are what they are. 

As you adjust to your new life of working, you will be more tired.  You don’t get those college afternoon naps any more!  Plus, using your brain is hard work…

But, there are some things that you could try to see if they will help you adjust to your grown-up schedule:

  • Go grocery shopping on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon.  Look ahead at what meals you need to be ready for, what nights are you eating out and what nights will you be home?  Where do leftovers come in?  Get everything for the week.  Prep your food and have lunches ready and it will take less time in the mornings.
  • Find ways to multi-task.  Saturday mornings are a great time to do this.  Get up and get laundry started.  Then, while you are cleaning other areas or enjoying a morning cup of coffee, you are getting things done. 
  • Set a daily “chore” chart or cleaning schedule.  Mondays – dusting, Tuesdays – deep clean kitchen, Wednesdays – bathrooms, Thursdays – Living Room/Community space, Friday – something simple, Saturday – laundry, file, bills, Sunday – rest and restart.  Pinterest has some great ideas under “cleaning schedule”.  Develop your method, stick to it and a “spring cleaning” wont seem so daunting.  
  • Another tip is to just tidy as you go.  Finish each night with dishes out of the sink and the living room “picked up”.  You will feel more relaxed when you come home from work each day. 
  • Carve out a consistent time each week to get your personal stuff done.  From time to time you will have personal projects to work on, volunteer work, social media, etc.  Focus and you will get more done instead of just dabbling in it at different parts through the week. 
  • Set aside a consistent time each month to do your bills.  Getting on top of paying your bills from the beginning will help build good habits and you will always be able to trust that your bills are handled.
  • Take time for you.  Make sure in the midst of being busy, being social and just doing life, that you make time for yourself to retreat…read a book, watch a movie or do your favorite hobby.

I’ll also throw in a bonus that says to “say yes”, when someone new invites you to do something with them.  Of course I’m keeping all safety precautions in tact here, but when someone asks you to join a group for dinner, say yes.  When someone new asks to meet you for coffee and get to know you, say yes.  Its amazing how these first few years “in the real world” will help you forge and build lifelong relationships.

Don’t get overwhelmed.  Try something.  If it doesn’t work, try something else and keep adjusting until you figure out what works for your and your new grown up life!