Dear Nedlam,

I’ve been super overwhelmed recently with tons of work! All my work keeps piling up and tests and quizzes keep coming up out of nowhere! Is there anything I can do to keep from being drowned in work?

Overwhelmed by Overload

Dear Overwhelmed by Overload,

Don’t worry! There are a lot of things you can do in order to handle all of the work that you’ve been given! For starters, write everything down. Everything you can possibly think of that you still have to do write it all down. Now take a look at that list, it’s probably incredibly long and intimidating, so now separate everything into categories. This can vary depending on the areas of your life; for example you could categorize everything by “home” “school” and “work”. After that, organize each item in each category by importance, whatever it is that immediately needs to be done.

Next, buy a calendar and utilize your agenda book! On your calendar, write down all the important things that are coming in the future. Games, tests, when projects are due, etc. Remember to check this everyday, so put it in a place where you are sure to see it. Now copy these same events into the calendar in your agenda that comes before every month. That way no matter what you know what is going on and you have multiple places to check in case you forget. Now go to the page in your agenda for this week and write down in the “Notes” section the important things you need to remember for the week like tests and after school activities. From this point on, write down all of your homework in your agenda in the form of a checklist, I recommend organized by class, that way when you finish you can check it off and be reminded if you already completed something. If your agenda is too small (or if you lost your agenda….) you can always buy an agenda (it doesn’t have to be expensive). In order to keep a handle on all of your work it's important to be organized and know what needs to be handled as well as when.

Sometimes, however, even all of that isn’t enough. It can be easy to forget to check your agenda and while I suggest making a habit of it, I also think that setting reminders on your phone is also helpful. When we have a lot of things going on it can be easy to forget meetings or tests or whatever, so when you know you have a lot of important things to remember, set reminders on your phone to keep yourself accountable. Especially if it’s for a meeting or event, reminders can be really useful.

There of course, is also the possibility that it is a lack of motivation that is what led to everything catching up to you. It happens to everyone, and while I talked about it more in my last column, I will say that it’s important to remember why you are doing all this schoolwork. Think about your future goals, and remember that no matter how many other people you know are procrastinating, that doesn’t make it justifiable. If you really want to achieve the things you hope for in the future, or even to just feel less stressed now, you need to realize the importance of getting things done and give yourself a sense of urgency.

I hope some of my tips help! I know that it might seem like a lot, but the more you can break things down the easier things will be. Just keep in mind how good you’ll feel once you're on top of everything and, I don’t want to sound crazy, you might actually get some sleep! Good Luck!!!! 🙂

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