Wednesday, March 16, 2011


...could someone have told me how much work graduate school is? Well, I knew it was going to be work, but I suppose I just wasn't prepared for the multitude of written assignments. I understand the purpose, but at the same time I sometimes feel that the written assignments take away from the real learning. For example, at this point in the semester I have pretty much given up on doing the required reading for my classes. All of my time is spent on papers and group projects! As far as I'm concerned, that's not such a good thing. I wish my professors realized we need an appropriate balance of both readings and assignments, and enough time to do them all! The crazy thing is, I'm a full time student without a full time job, unlike a lot of my colleagues. I only work one day a week cleaning, plus two days of internship, and two full days of class. What about the people who work a full time job and then have class, homework, and internship? I don't know how they make it happen, and I do not envy them!

Last week, in the midst of my freaking out about everything I still need to do before the semester is over, I decided to be proactive and get myself organized. I'll admit that part of my taking the time to organize was also to procrastinate, but we won't go there. Anyway, here's what I came up with:
 I wrote each of my assignments on a new post-it (don't you love these larger, lined, decorative Post-its?). I then broke the assignments into smaller tasks and put a little check-box next to each one. This allows me to see exactly what I need to do, work on smaller sections at a time, and check off things as I go so I feel like I have accomplished something even if the assignment isn't completed.

Here's a closer look at one of my assignments and the checked-off tasks that I have completed so far. Do you like how I used a red crayon so they stand out?

 As I talked about before, I also decided to set really reasonable goals for myself for each day of the week. Usually when I set goals it is just the stuff that I need to do, but I decided to include the stuff that I want to do on my list too. For example, goals for one day might be to go to the gym, work on some homework, and do some leisure reading. It felt good to take into consideration all of the things I want to do each day/week, not just the tasks on my to-do list.

And, in an effort to make work a little more enjoyable, I added fresh flowers to my workspace. One of my other weekly goals is to purchase fresh flowers and scatter them about the house. You would not believe what a different some pretty flowers can make!

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