5 easy ways to be productive when overwhelmed


The sudden feeling of burnout and overwhelmedness from monotonous virtual classes, tedious class discussions and awkward breakout rooms have college students feeling alone. There have been obstacles and hurdles through the biggest and toughest unprecedented times. College students are walking on thin ice as they undergo this unknown journey of searching for an internship when the economy is at its low or even better finding an entry-level job upon graduation.

Moreover, students hoped their four years of college would be the best four years of their life. However, things have been cut short and college students were limited to on-campus activities, extracurriculars, in-person learning and the overall experience of college. 

 Instead, students are faced with the harsh realities of this pandemic. Their mental and physical health is tested to the limits. As if before this dumpster fire college burnout was never a thing, which is false. College burnout is real and more real than ever before. Students feel stressed and disconnected from happiness and success. 

When the world around you has gone to the dumps it is easy for your care in life and productivity level to slowly dwindle out the window. Virtual learning and everything else that entails with virtual college can be a hard adjustment even though we’re a year into it. It may be more overwhelming for others than it is for you, but it is a change that was unexpected and not prepared for. So, you may be wondering how can you get out of a rut if you’re so deep into it?

One quote that I’ve found inspiring and hopeful during times when I just don’t feel like my 100% best self is:

“If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement,” said Kevin Systrom in Fashion Fundamentals’ online learning course that covers the importance of Linkedin. 

 Think about this inspirational quote and these five ways of how to be productive when overwhelmed with emotions and distractions. 

Goal setting

When thinking about where to begin with goal setting, create S.M.A.R.T. goals. This is an effective way to goal setting. Take those dreams that you have been manifesting for your whole life and create them into goals. 

Fashion Fundamentals implemented an online learning career course, mentorship program and community for college students. In lesson one of the Fashion Fundamentals course, Audree López harps on the importance of goal setting.

She said it herself, if you vocalize your goals and say them out loud, they’re bound to come to fruition. 

The first step when creating goals is to begin with a goal that is specific. It is essential that your goal is direct, detailed and meaningful. The more details the better. The only way you will reach your goal is if you’re honest and specific with yourself on what exactly you want. 

Next, make sure your goal is measurable. What I mean by that is, your goal should be quantifiable. When setting goals you should be able to check on the progress and the success of your goal while achieving it. 

Thirdly, it is important for your goals to be attainable. Be realistic with your goals and yourself. Be brutally honest with yourself and ask is this realistic for me? Is this something I can truly get on board with and achieve? In order for a goal to be attainable, you need to have the tools and resources to attain it.

Then, you want to envision a goal that is relevant to you. Don’t create a goal that will make your parents happy or your friends. Manifest a goal that aligns with your mission and your values. 

Last but not least, the goal should be time-based. Place a time limit on when you want to achieve it. If it is a smaller, attainable goal set the deadline to sooner than later. If it is a larger goal, place it in the future. Just make sure you have a deadline for your goal so you are set to achieve it by the due date. 


Whether it be a Google calendar or a physical, hard copy, use an agenda to keep track of your to-do list. One thing I find helpful is focusing on one day at a time. If it is a Monday, focus on what is due that Monday and don’t get ahead of yourself with the anxious thoughts of days to come. Jot down what you would like to accomplish that day and so forth. After you finish each job, physically and metaphorically scratch it off so it is clear from your agenda and your mind. 

Express to others

I know this may sound silly but talking about your worries and anxieties with your roommates and classmates is beneficial. I can guess that you’re not alone and those you’re speaking with are experiencing similar feelings. Expressing your feelings of burnout with others can lead to you both working through it and giving each other advice. 

Time to yourself

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead, say no and give yourself that break. If you enjoy working out, use that time to go on a run or a quick 30-minute ab workout. If working out really isn’t your jam, take 20 minutes to walk around your apartment or campus to consume some fresh, outside air. Another option is to treat yourself to a favorite guilty pleasure whether that be an iced coffee or a Chipotle bowl. 

Beauty sleep

All-nighters might be the thing or two to do in college but it can seriously have some repercussions. According to the Sleep Foundation, 18-25-year-olds are recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Beauty sleep is key but in order to do it, you have to stick with the same sleep schedule on the weekends. Stay away from scrolling for hours on TikTok and disconnect from your cellular device or your computer at least a half-hour or more before bed. 

College is tough and the pressures of virtual learning and this pandemic makes it even harder to concentrate on yourself. As easy as it may sound don’t let it get to you. 




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