Questions by Kennedy Hunter
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Kennedy: Hi Sierra! I loved your newest blog post! It was definitely a fun post to read for Halloween! But I must ask, what was your inspiration for writing about this topic?
Sierra: Halloween! When I started my post I was thinking of what could work with our theme of Harvest, and I love Halloween. I have lots of memories of this candy exchange process and I wanted to connect that to the way I pick and choose my tasks of the day.
K: It was very interesting and creative with how you decided to compare something as simple as a candy exchange for Halloween to figuring out how to manage the tasks you have to do. Do you often find yourself struggling with figuring out how to manage the tasks that you have to do?
S: Constantly. I keep myself really busy and I definitely struggle with putting too much on my plate. But every morning I start by checking my list of what I need to get done and I figure out which tasks need to go first and which ones I could bear to put off until tomorrow (which I admit, “tomorrow” could be weeks later). But this method helps me line up my day and add in my time for myself throughout.
K: I know there are definitely times where someone may struggle with figuring out which tasks are more important. What do you do if you ever struggle with deciding on starting two tasks that are both equally important?
S: When it comes to figuring out what’s most important, just start working (on any of them!). There’s no use in me pondering which one is more important if I know I need them both done immediately. But there is a commonality in which ones I end up doing first. I usually will start with the one that works in the time frame I have. I always see how much time I have before I start a task because it’s irritating to me to be writing an essay or working on paperwork and just having my train of thought interrupted for something else. If I have enough time for both, I will start with the easiest so I have more time after for the harder task. This one is quite controversial, some people like to get the hard tasks done first and leave the easier ones for later. But I prefer to get the easy stuff out of the way so I can put more focus on the harder tasks without worrying about the other things I need to be done.
K: You mentioned that communication is very important for when you’re overwhelmed with tasks to do. Do you ever find it hard to communicate to bosses, professors, etc. when an assignment or task might be completed late?
S: Not really. Professors, bosses, and all superiors are actually all just humans too. They know what it’s like to overfill their schedule and be overwhelmed or not able to get it all done. Obviously, I wouldn’t abuse this. I make sure I really can’t get your tasks done before I ask for an extension. But professors or bosses will listen when we can’t get something done. Let them know what’s going on and ask them what needs to be done first/what’s most important and what can you put off until tomorrow so you have more time to focus on the tasks you’re already handling.
K: Do you believe that society is understanding when allowing extensions for when someone’s workload is affecting their mental health or vice versa?
S: Yes… and no. I think we still have a lot of work to go to getting to a point where we can just take a “mental health day” and not need to explain it to professors or others. Mental health is just as important as physical health and I would hope your professors or bosses will understand if you need an extension for that, however, it’s not always seen as a justifiable reason by others. Most people in my life have understood the need for an extension, but I know that there are some out there that just don’t accept that. For those that don’t, I would probably debate if that moves the task up the list (to be done first) or if I just need to deal with the consequences of not finishing it on time.
K: You mentioned that self-care is essential for when you are stressed. Out of all the methods that you mentioned in your blog post, which self-care method has been the most effective for you?
S: I think watching an episode of my favorite show is just a huge stress reliever and a great reset to go back into my work renewed. However, I also practice self-care in simple ways like sleeping a full nine hours, even if my workload requires more time from me. I never work during my meals, I leave those times for myself. I think self-care comes in its own form for everyone. So make sure you practice self-care and find what works for you.
K: It was a pleasure interviewing with you, Sierra! Now before we end off, where can our audience find you?
S: They can find my work on the Love Yourself Foundation blog and newsletter.