Rehaul your standard university day

The most important aspect of any personal development is YOU.

But how many times do we look ahead and wish a little bit of magic could take some of the burden away too?

What we sometimes forget (me included) is that the magic is there, but it still eminates from our own drive and passion.

Many seemingly difficult things are quite easy once you put your mind to it. Sure, it’s not always enjoyable, but that’s a mindset in itself. You can enjoy it if you choose to. The power is within.

To get a running start at making your magic, take your average ‘day in the life’ and give it a makeover. Spring clean your day by flipping everything on its head and making a brand new start. Here are some ideas to get you going:

alarm clock (photo by Fenix)

Change your sleeping habits and promise to get up earlier

It’s a tired cliché, but it’s often the case. We don’t much enjoy getting up in the morning. But if you can force yourself to get up nice and early, even if it’s only an extra hour and only a couple of times during the week, it’s still extra time to do whatever you want.

I’m not suggesting you do your studying only. Whatever you choose, it’s more time than you had. And after a few weeks, the routine will feel like you’ve always got up at that time. Think how much more you could be getting out of life from this small change!

Don’t attempt to do everything

Just because you’ve been invited to five different events that week doesn’t mean you absolutely MUST go. Of course not! You have to miss some things in order to enjoy the other things more. I know it’s a hassle, but we all have to make choices.

Saying ‘yes’ to everything just happens to be one of the choices you can make. If things aren’t working out because of that, it’s time to start admitting that you need to say ‘no’ once in a while.

Believe in having ‘enough time’

Running around like a headless chicken is only okay if you thrive on that. Otherwise, it’s time to chill. If you don’t think there’s enough time in the day, you need to reorganise and refocus.

Most of us have a wide range of interests, a lot of leisure activities we want to enjoy, a great deal of study and reading to be getting on with, essays to write, and all sorts of daily tasks like eating, sleeping, washing…the list goes on. In no way does it mean that there’s not enough time. While getting bogged down is an occasional possibility, there’s no reason to feel in a permanent state of chaos. Take a break, sit down and find out what’s most important. Work from there.

Set limits and deadlines…Then be faithful to them

My wife has long been a believer in setting her own deadlines for projects. From when she started university right up until this day, if she’s given 4 weeks to complete something, she’ll set her own deadline of 2 or 3 weeks.

She’s not punishing herself. In fact, it’s rather the opposite. She will sit down and seriously consider how much time is needed on the project. After this, it’s time to set a realistic goal and stick to it. My wife makes no excuses about it and gets on with what’s needed.

In rehauling your days at university, you can set limits and deadlines on micro levels too, such as giving yourself a deadline to finish reading a book, or limiting yourself to 30 minutes of washing up because it needs to be done. Start small and watch things grow.

Have a plan

Far too often, I would speak to friends who didn’t know what the day was going to bring. It was like their life was a mystery and they weren’t in control.

I must admit, I didn’t always have a well thought out plan for every day, but I had at least a basic idea of what I wanted to achieve by the time the day was through.

If you’re serious about making a change and getting every last drop out of your time, you need to plan ahead.

Prepare for the unexpected

Fine, so you now have a plan. But what if you’re surprised by a new development that turns your plan on its head? It can happen.

Carefully take any new developments in and give some considered thought to what would be best in the circumstances.

It’s common to see a situation spiral out of control because nobody is taking responsibility for their actions. In the end, the day is over and people are ready to blame anything except their own actions. If something changes your day, embrace it and work with it. You have the power to make the ultimate decision one way or another. Like I suggested with the tip ‘don’t attempt to do everything’, you have the choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and then make the most of your decision.

We don’t know what the day will bring, but we do know how to bring the day under control.

The Tay Rail Bridge 2 (photo by chris27)

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