Organization 101: Working During Crunch Time


Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all of you who will be celebrating with friends and family tomorrow! And Happy Wednesday as well!

The pre-Thanksgiving Break school schedule has had me asking “wait, it today Monday or Tuesday,” almost all week. I’m excited to head home tonight, and spend some much needed time with my family and close friends.

The end of the semester is usually the roughest part for college students. And the end of the year, especially around holiday time, can be rough for anyone. With so much going on, staying organized and focused on the tasks at hand can be difficult. Before you know it, things are piling up, and you’re stressed out.

This is when being organized is most important. It can make or break you. Between writing papers, returning emails, and keeping up with the blog, I’ve definitely entered “crunch time.” Today, I want to share ways to stay on track, even when you feel like you’re racing the clock and way behind.


This may sound backwards when you’re trying to be productive, but trust me. You have to drop your shoulders, and let out a deep breath in order to clear you mind and truly focus on what needs to be done. Sitting at your computer tense and near tears is no way to effectively get work done, trust me!


During crunch time, procrastination will kill you. I’m not exaggerating…okay maybe I am just a little! But in all seriousness, the best way to insure you get everything done in a reasonable time is to start them at this moment. If you put one thing off for a day, you’ve lost an entire day of work and added a day of stress. No bueno.


Every day this week, I’ve created a to-do list to help me stay on track. I keep them short (if possible,) sweet and to the point. I don’t put things on it that don’t absolutely have to be done. Being the OCD organizer that I am, I usually organize my list in sections and colors. Blogging may be the top section, written in blue; school work would be another section, written in green. Compartmentalizing helps me realize where the bulk of my responsibilities for the day lie. The most features of this list are the prioritized symbols. I always place a red asterisk next to things I know I have to complete before moving on (normally the things I want to do the least, or that have pressing deadlines).


It’s one thing to create an awesome to-do list or to organize your daily planner, but another to follow through with the plan! This is why it is so important to focus on things you can and will do. If you wake up in the morning with the intention of taking a shower and then hitting the books or writing a blog, do just that! Don’t touch the TV, do not check your email — stick to the plan.


All week, I’ve been trying to remind myself that once everything is done, I will be home enjoying quality time and yummy food with my family. This has been such a motivation, and even with all of the work I’ve had to finish this week, I’ve been able to stay gracious and joyful.


No matter how much you have to get done, remember that your wellness is still your main priority. If you think completing your to-do list is difficult now, try doing it with a cold or sleep deprivation. Keeping yourself healthy will ultimately play a large role in how effectively you work. So stay hydrated, get rest, and life goes on after crunch time.

How do you stay organized when the pressure is on?

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  1. So much work to do for finals 🙁 I’ll be coming back to this post later before I freak out lol

  2. Good advice, Amber! I’m heading back to school next semester after a year off, so I know I’ll struggle to balance my life and to stay organized. You’ll get there! Good luck!

  3. Great advice. I always make lists and focus on one task at the time.