I was bummed when I first realized all of my fall classes would be online, but I did my best to try and find the positive in the situation. One good thing about Zoom classes, I thought, was that I would have much more time in the day to get other things done.
Well... I was halfway right. I do have more free time than in previous semesters, especially since most of my classes are asynchronous. But I quickly learned that, although I did not have to spend time in a physical classroom every day, the workload is still the same — if not more.
When I moved back onto campus, I had an idea of how my day-to-day life would look: I could sleep a little more than usual, do some classwork, snack throughout the day and work. The rest of my time was mine to spend however I wanted.
In the beginning of the semester, that's is pretty much how every day went. Then, it hit me: this was not going to work.
I found myself getting lazier day by day. I had lost my motivation to do schoolwork and would constantly procrastinate by allowing myself to think I would have time to get things done later.
Finally, I came to my senses. I realized I was lacking a schedule. There was no routine or structure to my week; therefore I wasn't holding myself accountable for things that needed to be done. During previous semesters I always had a game plan for each day, and I thought it might help to start that again.
It made an immediate difference.
Now, every Sunday, I take time to pencil in what the coming week will look like. This helps me keep track of what needs to be done and when I will have time to do things outside of school and work.
Thankfully, I've gotten into a routine that has not only helped me academically but also professionally and mentally and has given me a better overall appreciation for the meaning of the word "time."
Creating a schedule and sticking to it was hard at first. But it also laid out my commitments and helped me put things into perspective. It was necessary because it provided a sense of structure I could not find elsewhere.
In the age of the coronavirus, it is easy to focus on the news and forget about what is going on in our real lives. Do not let yourself be distracted.
My weeks are still pretty chaotic, but building a routine helped pave the way for me to avoid procrastinating. So if you can, try to come up with a structure in your week and tackle your work head-on. It made a world of a difference for me. It might do the same for you.
Elizabeth Crochet is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from New Orleans.