10 Tips for Time Management
The myOptions Team
With only 24 hours in the day, managing the time we have is a crucial skill to being successful. If you struggle to get things done (like most humans), check out these tips to enhance your productivity!
1. Do not think about the totality of your to-do list.
Concentrate on one piece at a time; otherwise, you are going to feel super overwhelmed. If you haven’t made a to-do list yet, get going on that. Try listing the most crucial and/or immediate tasks first. There’s nothing more satisfying than checking off all the projects (and closing all the tabs on your computer) when you’re done!
2. Think about when you’re most productive.
We all operate differently. Some of us are morning people who feel like crawling into bed before the sun even sets. Others are night owls who don’t feel fully conscious until at least 3:00 in the afternoon. So, there’s no right or wrong answer! You are likely to remain focused and retain more information if you choose a time when you perform your best!
3. Take advantage of your downtime.
Whether it be the breaks in between classes, or time working out on the elliptical, take advantage of the gaps in your schedule. Whether you have reading to do or math problems to accomplish, you’ll have less to worry about later if you’re working on it throughout the day. Who knows, you may even get ahead!
4. Give yourself a time constraint.
Utilize alarms on your phone to make sure you are only working on certain tasks for a given period of time. You may be more efficient if you think “I’m going to work on this for an hour,” instead of, “I’m not moving until I get this assignment done.”
5. Write it all down.
It doesn't matter if you use an agenda, an app, or a wall size calendar with photographs of pizza on each page. You can keep track of class schedules and assignments, daily/weekly chores, upcoming exams, social events, big sports matches, and more. By (regularly) maintaining this calendar, you’ll know what to expect each day!
6. Think about how long certain assignments and activities typically take.
If physics homework usually requires a full hour and jazz band is always two hours, you’ll know that you have to allow for that in your daily schedule. Once you solidify/clarify all of your commitments, you’ll be able to figure out a weekly agenda. And, importantly, you’ll clearly see where you can pencil in some time to kick back and relax.
7. Learn to say no.
Unfortunately, there are only a finite number of hours in the day. And sometimes you simply can’t accept every invitation that’s extended. Recognize your priorities, and commit to the events that you truly care about and actually have time for. Fight the FOMO.
8. Evaluate the ways in which you waste your time.
The list of distractions never ends: Netflix, texting, scrolling through Insta, or online shopping all fit the bill! Once you pinpoint your own personal methods of procrastination, you will know what to avoid when you need to get work done.
9. Find time to be still.
We know you are a busy bee, but take the time to slow down. Appreciate where you are in this precise moment, and forget about all the rushing and hurrying.
10. Make it fun!
There is always a way to make mundane tasks more entertaining. Get the creative juices flowing and figure out a way to enjoy what you are doing. This could mean turning chores into a dancing jubilee or finishing the rest of your philosophy reading under the shade of a tree. It’s the little things that will make your days pleasant!
Time management is a technique that can alleviate stress and ensure that you’re performing to the best of your capabilities. And while some of us may be more naturally inclined to organization than others, it’s an attribute we can all develop with a little bit of practice.