Let me set the tone: it’s a Sunday morning and you wake up with a bad case of the weekend scaries. You log into your Canvas page and watch your screen flood with assignments (I’m sure you know the feeling). You then realize that your room is a convoluted dumpster, your snack drawer is vacant, and your laundry basket is full to the brim. Every thought running through your head returns to the assignments you inevitably have to complete.
I can attest that this is undeniably the worst feeling. And let’s be real, we have all had that moment where the feeling becomes overwhelming, and nothing that needs to be done actually gets done. Needing to get multiple tasks accomplished, and not having a clue of where to begin. That right there is a consistent battle for me.
Eventually the amount of thoughts crossing your mind might cause you to subconsciously throw in the towel. But don’t worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The first thing to check off your to-do list: purchase a planner.
I won’t cause a headache and state all the “studies have shown” statistics about the benefits of using a planner. However, for someone that just recently invested in one, I can attest to the validity of these studies.
Write it down
From my own experience, I find that the most important and beneficial step is writing everything down. After all my thoughts are physically visible to me, my state of overwhelming stress turns more into a state of peace. I position my pen beside the planner and just observe. The ink fills up the page, and while it may look like a lot, knowing there is a start and an end brings me a sense of ease. Therefore, writing everything down on a piece of paper alleviates much of that unwanted stress I face in my day-to-day life.
If you have ever made a to-do list, I am sure you understand that satisfaction of crossing off a completed task from that list. But why do people get so much satisfaction out of checking something off? When you create a start point and an endpoint, every step closer to the finish line shows you are actually capable of getting things done. Planners hold you accountable for all the things you say you need to do, and will help you make a plan.
After practice using your planner, you will start to notice that the promises you make to yourself are the most crucial to accomplish. In addition to a heightened self-esteem; you will realize you’re fully capable of doing the things that were previously put on the back burner. When you accomplish the promise you made, you subconsciously gain more confidence and respect for yourself… No matter what stage of life you are in, building your self-confidence is always crucial.
Get it Done
Remember a time when it was 11 pm on a Sunday night, and you internally wanted to scream, since you starting all your work at 10:30? Yeah, that was me every week, which is why I always used to dread Sundays. I genuinely believed this feeling was absolutely inevitable. Alas, there’s yet another solution to this horrible problem….. I promise to you that when you start your day with jotting down everything that needs to be done in your planner, and refer back to it 2-3 times a day, you will finally enjoy your Sunday evenings again. You are in total control to get it done, and your journal is your guide to the finish line.
Put Yourself on the RaceTrack
It is no fun when you focus on what other people are doing instead of what you’re doing. A planner will force you to stay in your own lane. I personally believe that our generation doesn’t stress the importance of “staying in our lane,” or in other terms, focusing on ourselves– but not in a selfish way! Social media leaves us wondering what they are up to instead of what I am up to. That planner of yours jerks you back into your lane, acting as a reminder that the most important thing to focus on is yourself. I use my planner as a form of self-care. Doing this action strengthens my mental health and make me a happier person all around.
To wrap this all up, it is much easier to invest in a planner than it is to deal with all the stress and anxiety of everlasting floating thoughts. Just picture how you would feel if you physically saw everything you had to do. Feeling the satisfaction of accomplishing a task, you will be proud of yourself for showing up for yourself.
Featured Image via Ali Express
Eladia Michaels is a part of the Sex and the Crescent city column. She's a sophomore majoring in Communications with an English minor. In addition to being a part of the Crescent, Eladia enjoys trying new things with her friends, exploring new places around the world, and windows down car rides along the beach. Writing to her is simply thinking with her fingers.