When Jess asked me to write about how to use PowerSheets as a student, I jumped on the opportunity because I benefitted from using them during my senior year! I am a proud University of Kentucky alum, and I’ll take any chance to relive the glory days.
One of my favorite thing about PowerSheets is that they aren't limited to a certain season of life, but they grow with you—PowerSheets can be used by anyone, anytime. I started my 2017 PowerSheets as a college student, and looking back at graduation in May, I can see how although my goals have changed quite a bit, my PowerSheets are still working.
One important thing to note is that my PowerSheets weren’t a homework, studying, and project to-do list.
While those things are important for success in college, I used PowerSheets as a means of uncovering what mattered to me—whether that be inside or outside of the classroom. College is a great time to grow in areas of your life that will last beyond student life—this could be community involvement, relationships, finances, healthy habits, etc. I'm delighted to share what I learned using PowerSheets as a student, and I'd love to hear from you!
1. Keep your Tending List visible.
PowerSheets only work if you use them. And to use them, you have to see them! I kept my backpack pretty much packed with the same items—my planner, a binder (that I used for all classes), a calculator, and a snack for the day, so there wasn’t a whole lot of space to bring my PowerSheets.
That's where the perforated Tending List comes in handy! Simply tear out your Tending List and tape it to the inside of your class binder or planner. You can consistently check in on a weekly basis and make adjustments without having to add another book to your school bag.
2. Use semester breaks to complete the PowerSheets Prep Work.
I received my 2017 PowerSheets as a gift over the holidays, and balancing family and friend time over the holiday break made it hard for me to start the Prep Work before my spring semester. Whether you’ll be using a Dated One-Year Workbook or a Six-Month Undated Workbook for 2018, I highly recommend starting as soon as you can leading up to winter break. This gives you enough time to enjoy the break and thoughtfully work through the Prep Work before filling out your January Tending List.
3. Focus on what matters to you.
Being a college student doesn’t mean life outside of class is put on pause. As I completed the Prep Work, I found that a lot of my focus for 2017 included uncovering what I wanted to do post-graduation, cultivating relationships I had built, and spending valuable time outside of class in a way that refreshed my soul. If you were to look at my Tending Lists from the beginning of the year, you will find a lot of goals focused on the student organizations I had leadership positions in and my community in Lexington, and that was a good thing! I chose the most important things, and I prioritized them on my Tending List each month.
Many of my favorite college memories came from serving on the DanceBlue leadership team and planning #DB17, which showed up often on my PowerSheets. Marc was a great mentor for the year leading up to the 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping, dance marathon and now, post-graduation!
4. Be specific.
This tip can actually apply to anyone, and it’s been a game changer in how I write out my Tending List each month. For example, instead of “start saving”, I added “open a Roth IRA and invest $x”. The more specific my action steps were, the easier it was for me to make progress on them. It also made it easier to me to translate goals into my daily planner! To learn more about using your PowerSheets alongside your planner, join Lara and Emily Ley for a live class on How to Create a Cultivated Calendar!
5. Set aside time on your lightest class day to do your Tending List each month.
Try to keep your monthly check-ins consistent and mark it on your calendar. Maybe it’s during your Tuesday or Thursday break between classes, or maybe it's during homework break on your Monday afternoon library stints. Either way, consistency is key! One important thing to remember is that you don’t have to wait until the day before to do your Tending List for the upcoming month. I used to try to do it on the last day of each month, and when something came up I would feel guilty about not getting it done. Now, I start my PowerSheets the same time each month (the last Friday of the month), and it's been a game changer! This is why we give you a PowerSheets Prep Day sticker in our sticker book!
6. Give yourself margin during exam seasons.
Is it just me, or does it always seem like your professors met together and decided to give exams all on the same day? I found myself have one week with little projects or assignments due, and then another week with all my exams! Even if you aren't a student, I'm sure you can relate. In the “What’s Ahead” section, be sure to note if you have a busy month ahead in your classes and include dates. Writing out dates will help you see if certain weeks are heavier than others, and it will allow you to build in margin and avoid trying to do too much. In this case, feel the freedom to leave some of the lines on your Tending List blank!
7. Find inspiration from others! It was always helpful for me to see what goals other students were setting, so I flipped back through my PowerSheets to pull some examples for you below:
- Create a list of prospective companies I would like to work for (and why)
- Research and open a Roth IRA + deposit summer savings
- Create study plan for Finals week
- Submit application for school organization leadership team
- Attend office hours for (insert your most difficult class here)
- Encourage girls in bible study
- Meet with career mentor/professor
- Prepare well for DanceBlue meeting
- Work on homework from a coffee shop - Breaking up my homework routine was so refreshing each week!
- Pack a snack
- Encourage a friend
- Charge laptop
- Pack backpack
- Skip the bus and walk
Are you a student? Do you use PowerSheets? I'd love to hear any others tips you might below in the comments!