Women's Center begins the new year with a 'fresh' start

The "Start Fresh!" program in the MU Student Center provided tips for getting one’s school, social and personal life in order.

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The Women’s Center held another installment of its “Ms. Zou” series Thursday with a segment called “Start Fresh!”

Attendees learned useful tips and tricks to keep their lives in order, from scheduling everyday “self-care” time to organizing closets to efficient study habits.

Women’s Center Coordinator Suzy Day presented to the group a slideshow filled with organizational ideas and facts about stress management. She wanted to address the issue of time and space management for those who want to start the New Year off right.

“There were lots of people at the end of the semester complaining about their lack of organization,” Day said. “They wanted tips to clean out their stuff once a year and start out fresh.”

The key to taking care of yourself when this happens is to set priorities and simply say “no” when you cannot make a time commitment.

Many people think that multitasking is a successful way to knock out a hefty to-do list in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, multitasking is somewhat of a myth, Day said.

“We are a generation of multitaskers,” she said. “But the brain can only do one thing at a time.”

That is why Day suggests focusing on one task at a time instead of trying to get several things done together. In the end, multitasking is far less efficient.

To make the most of your time during the week, Day recommended using the small blocks of free time between classes to study instead of logging onto social networking sites or listening to your iPod. Bringing snacks or lunch with you to class or work also saves time and money.

Reserving a day or two of your winter and summer breaks to “purge” your computer, closet and desk can be extremely useful too. Using that free time to delete any old and unnecessary files from your desktop, store off-season clothes and clean out desk drawers and binders are excellent space savers and stress busters.

Day said she goes through her entire house once a year throwing away things such as old makeup and expired medicine.

About halfway through her presentation, Day passed out a packet that included a weekly planner and a sheet to breakdown your monthly budget so attendees could visualize their free time during the week and how much money they make and spend every month.

Day had everyone fill in the weekly calendar with times for class, studying, meetings and even eating and sleeping times. This showed attendees how much time they realistically had to devote to themselves and helped them locate their “timesucks,” which are tasks or habits that take up a large amount of time every week.

Junior Rebecca Kirkle attended the Start Fresh! segment to take notes and learn new ways to keep her life organized.

“My favorite part was the weekly planner,” she said. “It made me realize the importance of getting rid of timesucks and setting priorities.”

Kirkle is a longtime supporter of the Women’s Center.

“It’s a good event and a good space,” she said. “I came because I love the Women’s Center and these events are always really informative.”

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