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How to cope with hectic schedules at work, school, and remain sane

Come September, the pace of life seems to speed up drastically. Most people are back at their jobs after their vacations, and schools are back in session.

Work deadlines, visits to the dentist, kids' activities and parents' night at the new school all conspire to collide on the same day, but miles apart.

How can average folks even to hope to keep up with their work, take the kids where they need to go, fit in all the appointments and errands, and still have some time for fun?

"It's hard to balance all that," said psychologist Bert Epstein, assistant director of Student Health Services at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Epstein has conducted classes and workshops at various colleges over the past 15 years, offering advice on time management and how to juggle a hectic schedule. He appreciates how stressful modern life can be, but he believes that with a little forethought, most people can manage their time more effectively and comfortably.

Based on ideas from Espteinand several other busy people, here is a list of 10 tips for coping with everyday life at a breakneck pace:

1. Set goals.

"That's a step that people often skip," Epstein said. "They say, &‘Oh, of course, I know what my goals are,' but without actually sitting down and writing this out, it makes time management more challenging."

2. Set priorities.

"Consider that there probably will be some items on your list that you don't want to do, but have to do. In those cases, you might be likely to procrastinate," Epstein said.

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