Top 10 Things I Learned #1 – Stress Won’t Get you a Job or an A

Top 10 Things I Learned #1

Stress Won’t Get you a Job or an A

The first semester of business school will put all the time management skills you thought you had to the test. During the course of two years you will become so accostomed to the fast-paced environment, that you will annoy everyone else outside of your class with your attempts to multi-task and “develop systems” for everything that is not business school.

Here’s a snapshot of your daily thoughts:

  1. Even though I only started school a month ago, three of my friends are talking constantly about their awesome interviews. Am I behind already?
  2. I know X assignment is going to take me at least 7-10 solid hours to complete. I also know that I can start until teammate Y gets me the data. I won’t have that until 5 hours before it’s due. BEST CASE. It may also be disorganized.
  3. I had midterms last week. Next week I have finals. They start on my Birthday.
  4. The career people are hounding me because I haven’t reformatted my resume.
  5. Professor Z has a class in 2 hours on a reading. I can’t skip, but I haven’t read and this guy cold-calls people to answer questions.
  6. My phone is ringing because my partner on a project wants to know why I haven’t given him the research yet. I haven’t begun to write it up.
  7. My significant other is complaining because I haven’t gotten home before midnight in 3 days.
  8. There is an amazing speaker this evening in my field of choice, but I have a group meeting.
  9. Tomorrow have I have a 5 minute presentation on something I vaguely remember hearing about last week in Q class. I can’t find my syllabus.

My point is: it is very easy to lose your cool. Over the course of the degree I have seen people yell at each other for no (good) reason at least once a week. Here’s some tips to manage stress:

  1. Use to-do lists like it’s your job. Make one every night before you go to bed.
  2. Put only actionable items on that list. No item should take more than 1 hour to compelete. Break up anything that will take longer into more items.
  3. Use a calendar like an appendage. Don’t leave home without it. EVER.
  4. Make sure to block off a half-hour before every meeting to plan what you want to say and what you want to get out of it. INSIST on this and reschedule meetings that drag on or contain useless chattering and no decision-making.
  5. Be polite and always put favors at the top of your to-do list.
  6. If things get heated, leave immediately and revisit later.
  7. Write down everything you agree to do in your planner along with a to-do schedule.
  8. Get a good night sleep 4 out 5 class nights. MUST.
  9. Excersize daily. Even if it is just a 30 minute run.
  10. Eat vegetables and bring snacks to class.
  11. Don’t sweat anything. You are going to screw up. Just keep moving.
  12. Smile often and apologize only when it’s your fault.