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In a world with never ending Instagram feeds and Netflix documentaries, it’s no wonder creating an agenda can be so challenging. Forming a schedule will allow you to make the most of your time, prioritize your goals, and realistically achieve them! If time management isn’t your cup of tea, check out these tips to inventing the perfect schedule:

1. Utilize a calendar or scheduling tool.

Invest in a physical agenda where you can doodle with colorful pens, or download a calendar app. If you’re more of a techie, consider these options: Google CalendarDigiCal, and Asana.

2. Set aside time to schedule your time

Sound confusing? Bear with me. Take a day every week or month to sit down, go through your calendar, add your tasks for the week ahead of you, and delete or extend past deadlines. I personally sit down at 6 o’clock every Sunday night to list everything I need to do, down to the hours for each day. You don’t have to go this crazy; just see what works for you!

3. Color code

Get creative and color code events by importance or relevance to each other. For example, all work events in red, family/friend gatherings in blue, doctor appointments in yellow, and so on. You can also set alerts on your phone or computer for an extra nudge!

4. Schedule high-priority tasks before everything else

Once you determine the time you have available, add essential duties for your job or your classes to your calendar. That way, you’ll have these vital deadlines in mind when adding less significant activities to your agenda.

5. Prepare for emergencies

Give yourself some extra time in case of unpredictable events and interruptions. For example, if it takes you 15 minutes to go to the library and print your research paper, give yourself a few extra minutes in case you experience printer trouble or run into a chatty friend.

6. Schedule the time you need to achieve your goals

If your goal is to earn an A on your next exam, calculate the amount of time you need to study. How long does it take you to familiarize with the study guide? What about tackling the readings? Figure it out, and plan accordingly.

7. Check back in and review

If you find that your schedule has too many demanding tasks and not enough free time, you should reevaluate. Find the assignments that can be delegated or cut altogether. Look at your time management skills as a work in progress. By taking note of the strategies that work for you (and the tactics that don’t), you will become a productivity expert. For more information about time management, check out these tips!