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How to Handle an Overwhelming Workload

By Woody Hamilton

May 2021

To be completely honest with you — I have no idea. I’m still trying to figure it out. I don’t think anyone really knows because if anyone knew, everyone would know because everyone would want to know. Does that make sense? I don’t know.  I’ve spent this semester trying to figure out how to manage a demanding workload and have succeeded and failed at different methods in the process. From what I’ve learned, there is no singular way to fix all of your problems. But maybe there’s something that will work for you that worked for me — that’s what I’m here to share.

I first hit a wall in mid-March during a particularly difficult week. Lots of homework, internship work, and extracurriculars, my schedule was packed and I didn’t think I could handle it. What I contemplated — but ultimately decided I couldn’t do — was drop something. I needed to complete all my credits to be able to graduate this fall and I didn’t want to abandon the commitment I had made to my friends in extracurricular groups.

So, I had to come up with something else. I started scheduling everything I had to do. And I mean everything. Every class, every item of homework, every meeting was planned out. This was difficult to adjust to because it meant I had to get things done even when I felt like there wasn’t sufficient time, but eventually, I got the hang of it, and I learned the importance of time management. Possibly the most important lesson you will learn during the SULA semester will be time management skills. These skills will be a necessity for the rest of your life, especially if you plan on entering a demanding industry such as entertainment.

Not only did I have to plan everything, but I had to re-evaluate the schedule of my life. I learned that I’m much more productive in the morning, but I usually don’t wake up until 11 am or noon. So, I started getting up at 9 or 10 instead, and my productivity increased. SULA is not just about being exposed to the entertainment industry or learning from industry professionals; it gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself as well. You learn to push your limits and how you work best. Hopefully, you can make the most out of it.