The following post was written by Fall 2021 writing intern, Amelia Wright.
With college starting back up, many are already feeling the pressure of assignments, bills, and other commitments piling up. Stress begins to set in, and our thoughts are consumed with “what do I need to do next?” and “what am I forgetting?” Most likely, the idea of achieving work-life balance is in the back of every student’s mind, a far off, unattainable dream.
So how do we reach this dream?
Throughout history, great thinkers have been concerned with the idea of living life to the fullest. Even back in ancient Rome, finding balance between work and leisure was a task many hoped to conquer. Emperor Marcus Aurelius left many mentions of his pursuit of balance in his journal called Meditations. One line I think highlights his thoughts on this is “it is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
Think about this quote. I mean really think about it. If you spend every moment of the day consumed with anxiety over the tasks ahead, you’ll never be able to stop and enjoy your days. While it is easy to give in to our worries, there is a way to conquer our time and leave more space for the truly important parts of our lives.
I know the idea of time management can feel tedious and intimidating, but starting with even a ten minutes can change the way you approach your day and make each one feel more fulfilling.
One simple way to approach this is by having a weekly planning session. The three simple steps to this are outlined here, but, in short, it’s taking the time to pause, assess, prioritize, and make a plan.
This is a time efficient and stress free way to chart out your week. Even more, seeing all your obligations laid out highlights how much free time is actually in your control.
In the modern day, everyone is unimaginably busy, but setting aside a small chunk of time to just plan out what is important can drastically improve your quality of life. Marcus Aurelius said it best, when he claimed “very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” All you need to find balance, and by extent a deeper sense of peace, is a little bit of planning for the future.