For some reason, this week has seemed like a long test in my ability to prioritize. After getting sick over my university’s reading break last week, I found myself bombarded with work this week. A presentation on Tuesday, an annotated bibliography by Friday, a revised thesis prospectus, and submitting the proper paperwork for a conference I’ll be presenting at in March. I guess it’s only appropriate that today was the first of the month.

The problem was that there were so many other things I wanted to do other than work. I wanted to clean my apartment, finish my laundry, clean out my car, visit with friends who have just gotten back from break, go to Zumba, watch my television shows, talk to my family on Skype…the list goes on. The problem with prioritizing for me is that it never seems to work out. In my undergrad, I prioritized work at the expense of everything else. Academics came first, and my personal relationships suffered as a result. In my grad program, I’ve been trying to find a better balance. Rather than automatically turning down invitations to hang out, I’ve started accepting. That’s how tonight, at 11, I’ve ended up with half a book to read, a book review to write, and a blog entry to post. Prioritizing isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t stable.

All work and no play makes ANYBODY grumpy. (Image Credit:

I’m still earning how to prioritize, and that’s why tonight I’m left with a pile of work at the end. However, I feel better having spent time with friends. Even with the stress of work hanging over my head, I feel less anxious than I did before hanging out. Sometimes, it’s okay to let your priorities get a little out of whack. At least, I think that’s what I’ve learned over the past few years of “being an adult.” Tonight I probably should have stayed in to get my work done. But to be fair, I’ve spent the past five nights staying in because I knew I had work to do. Overall, priorities have to come down to your own personal well-being balanced out with the things you have to do.

How do you prioritize? Do you ever put work off in favor of social interactions?


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Filed under Academic Advice, My Experiences

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