First and foremost, what is entropy? The dictionary defines entropy as a “lack of order and predictability; a gradual decline into disorder.” Does this sound familiar to you?
Basically, entropy is the measure of disorder. So how can we combat the lingering touch of disorder in our lives? We fight back … although, not literally. Disorder has a tendency of sneaking up on us, on ALL of us, and after a while, it can make the simplest task feel a hundred times more strenuous. Studying can take hours longer than it should because we need to organize our notes. Our bedroom can descend into chaos and make it impossible to think about anything beyond cleaning.
Try these life hacks to defeat entropy before it rises:
1. Sundays Are For Cleaning
It’s been a long day and all you want to do is have a snack and hit the hay. You slump your jacket on a chair, drop your boots to the floor, and strip off your current clothes to leave them piled on your desk so you can wrap yourself up in comfy clothes and crawl into bed. Sometimes our week is so busy that we forget (or just don’t care) about doing dishes and cleaning things up in our room. We may even add to the mess, but it doesn’t need to progress into chaos. If we take ONE day to fix things up and get back on track, we stop entropy from kicking our butt later. Use Sunday (or your day off) to clean and keep things in order.
2. Put Things Away As You Get Them
How many times have you received a handout from your professor only to toss it in your bag or randomly throw it in your binder? If we organize our notes and handouts as we get them, studying becomes easier because we know where to look for that information. It also keeps our backpack from becoming a mysterious bag of unwanted wonders … where you can never find what you need when you need it. That’s what laundry machines and missing socks are for. Same thing goes for laundry. Instead of letting the clothes pile up in a laundry basket, or – let’s be honest – the floor, we can take ten minutes to fold our clothes and put it away. This tactic keeps our room clean and easy to walk around. So, we don’t stress thinking about it later.
3. Use An Agenda / Planner
Keep essays, assignments, group projects, and exam schedules written in a planner you keep with you. Then you always know what’s coming next. Don’t forget to block off time to complete each task, especially if you have more than one due that week. This method stops you from being totally stressed about getting everything done and when to get it done. You already have a plan, so get to it!
4. Chore Schedule
If you have roommates, develop a chore schedule so everyone remembers when garbage day is and who is taking it out. This is handy if the floors need a quick sweep and the kitchen sink needs a little scrub, so the house doesn’t accidentally fall into chaos and cause panic or unease between roommates. Chores stop your house from turning into a disgusting disarray.
5. Meal Prep
Buying items in bulk and portioning food for the week can relieve your mind of any stress and last-minute purchasing, which let’s face it, can lead to a mountain of take-out containers. Even if you are relatively lazy, think about the money you’ll be saving! If you take one day to plan out your meals for the week and have them in ready-to-go containers, you free your mind of the dreaded what do you want for dinner? question. Saving yourself that trouble is more than enough reason to start meal prepping your food. Check out Meal Prep 101 for more information on meal prepping.
A little disorder in our lives is normal, and often accepted, but don’t let it defeat you! You can beat entropy before it even begins.
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.