Student: Maria Coughlin
Degree: Communications/Integrated Marketing, ‘23
Course: Creativity, Innovation, and Idea Development

As we transitioned to an online learning environment, I found myself struggling to balance Zoom lectures, homework, and projects. It felt as if I was living at my desk. I put off activities I enjoyed, from taking a hike to visiting a new local coffee shop. My schedule felt overwhelming, and yet at the end of the day I felt that I could have done more. I constantly told myself I was too busy.

Then, an insight. I am participating in Eric Koester's Creator Institute, an accelerated book writing program, and I was in a recent zoom session where Eric described what it means to be distracted. He discussed the negative consequences the phrase “too busy” can have on an individual's mindset. Instead, a person should strive to tell themself that they are simply too distracted and seek different methods to optimize their time. Prioritization is extremely crucial when it comes to balancing schoolwork and life online. It wasn’t that my day was too busy to handle, in all honesty, it was that I distract myself too often. Therefore, I have recently brainstormed what it is that distracts me from effectively winning my day. Simple solutions such as turning my phone off during zoom classes, or using early mornings as a reset time, has been extremely beneficial to me. I no longer have a negative outlook on this new online learning experience. While online learning surely presents new challenges, these challenges are merely opportunities for us to grow.