One of the BIGGEST contributors to feeling overwhelmed or stressed, is having a long to-do-list, and not knowing what to prioritise.
You might have an English assignment due in a couple of weeks, a math test around the same time, not to mention a lab report due the week after, on top of ALL the other things you have going on — extracurricular activities, social activities, and all of life’s other demands!
All of these things are important — so what on earth do you pick to do first?!
The Negative Effects
When you’re in this situation, it’s not fun. It’s actually the opposite of fun.
At worst, it can be incredibly stressful.
It can lead to fatigue and sleepless nights.
And if that’s not enough, it can paralyse you in your tracks! It can be really difficult to produce high quality work when you feel like you have a million things going on.
I tend to find myself feeling like this about a month out from exams, when I still have assessments due hideously soon, but feel anxious about having a lot of study-hours ahead of me.
Completing the assignments and studying for exams are both really important – so what should I do right now?
It’s taken me tooooooo many years of study to get this for myself, but I think I have finally figured out a really helpful strategy that can help to decrease blood-pressure levels and reinstate a good night’s sleep:
Prioritise the task that is going to make you feel better.
Feeling stressed is horrible, and so if there’s a task you can tick off your list which is going to decrease your stress levels and make you feel more on top of things, I say do that task first.
Ticking tasks off a check-list is very satisfying. Once you’ve done something that’s been making you feel stressed out, you’ll feel relieved and also energised to move on to the next thing.
So not only are you tackling your stress levels, you’re also improving your motivation levels, and getting more and more productive.
I’ve been implementing this strategy for myself lately, and I love it.
There is no better feeling than completing something that’s been weighing on your mind, then closing your books and your laptop and rewarding yourself with a movie, reading a good book, or catching up with a friend.
I hope this works for you or your teen as much as it has for me!