By Gillian Reid, Staff Writer
As most people know, I am a little bit on the super-organized, hyper-efficient side. I’m the one who normally knows all the due dates and all of the readings for each week. (This is also because numbers stick in my head.) However, along with all of these traits that I possess, there is a valid reason for why I am this way: I have anxiety. Shocker, I know, but that is the reason why I am the way I am. People who have anxiety have to have a schedule for the main reason that it keeps us sane and the anxiety at bay.
For people with anxiety, having a schedule means that we know what we plan on doing, so it takes out the guesswork. Always knowing what is coming next actually calms us and makes completing tasks easier. With me, my schedule is not rigid, and it is not a “do or die” type of thing. Each day, I have general things that I do, but if I don’t get to something that I wanted to do, it’s not the end of the world. My schedule allows me to get plenty of sleep, enough social time, and all of my work done. I prioritize everyday that has to be done and then what I want to get done. If I get everything done that I have to and want to, it’s just a bonus.
Creating a schedule is fairly easy and does not take a lot of time. Mostly, what you have to do is put “dead time” into your schedule so that if something comes up, you have time to do it, but not at the expense of what has to be done. As Dr. Babarinde says: “shift happens”, so you always need to account for that. For example, the battery on my car died one day last semester, and I had to get it fixed immediately. Since I had classes the next day, I had to think about what could be moved to where I would still get everything I needed to get done that day. Having that dead time in my schedule allowed for the pop-up emergency, but not at the expense of what I needed to get done that day.
Another reason why dead time needs to be scheduled is so that you have time to just relax and recharge. Most people with anxiety are introverts and being around people drains us. It’s not that we don’t want to be around people, but it’s just that all of the energies of people drain us mentally. We need time to just watch movies or to play video games for a few hours, and then we can go out with our friends to hang out.
Without a schedule, people with anxiety tend to walk around spewing their anxiety onto other people, and if they walk into a room with people who have anxiety emitting all of that energy, it can jump start their own. While it is not anyone’s fault if that happens, it can cause tensions because other people have to think of themselves.
In addition, anxiety can cause health problems. Before I fully got on a schedule, I ended up having severe heartburn, knee pain, and fatigue whenever I was stressed out. With the schedule, I was able to calm down because I knew that I could get everything I needed to get done. However, I still get stressed out and overwhelmed, but I will look at my schedule and see when I could get everything done in time. Another thing that I do is gauge every assignment that I get to make sure that I have enough time to complete it to the best of my ability. I don’t always worry about it being perfect because if I did, I would go crazy. The way I see it, the only person who has to like it is the professor.
I live by my Google Calendar, and if it wasn’t for that, I would go crazy. One of the rules I live by is “if it takes 2 minutes or less to do, do it now.” This has actually made my schedule more efficient and I feel more productive during the day. I also try my best to multi-task the best I can because this cuts down on time for each thing that needs to be done in addition to never becoming bored with the same thing. For instance, I will do my writing assignments while watching sports on TV so that I can take a quick brain break before focusing on the task at hand.
Having a schedule is like being on a balance beam. When you lose your balance, you have to jump back up again in order to finish the routine.