Life gets busy. There’s no way around it. You wake up in the morning with an agenda of tasks to accomplish, but more gets added to your plate as the day goes on. The accumulation of classes, studying, participating in clubs and organizations, holding leadership positions, and trying to find time to eat, sleep, and breathe makes your planner look like a Jackson Pollock painting. Life gets busy, and if you’re not careful things start to get out of control. Here are some life saving tips to help you manage your time better, so it doesn’t feel like you’re drowning in your own schedule.
Get a day planner or calendar
- Life gets a lot easier if you can see your day/week/month in front of you. Writing things down in an actual planner helps to prevent overscheduling, and keeping track of everything you need to do and when it needs to be done by. When you write things down, you’re more likely to think ahead about that particular task and less likely to forget that it’s even there.
Color coding is a great way to keep everything you have to do straight. Looking at an assignment or event in a color helps to prioritize your day, and it makes your planner look pretty.
- Speaking of prioritizing, making a list of things to do in order of importance helps you to better plan your time. What’s due tomorrow must be done today, but if you do it after the assignment that’s due two days from tomorrow, you’re not gonna have enough time to do it.
Keep your workspace organized
- When everything’s in its place, it alleviates a lot of stress. You know exactly where everything is, so you don’t have to panic or worry about losing something. It also helps save time. When your desk is a mess and your folder is in sorts, it takes up a lot of your valuable time ripping everything apart just to find one thing. Keeping things clean and organized will save you a headache later.
- As much as we like to think that we’re superhuman and we can do everything, we simply cannot, especially when we’re working with other people. It is not your responsibility to carry the weight of your group on your shoulders. Do your part and be done. Nothing and no one is perfect, so just do what you do well and let it be.
Learn the art of bullshit
- This tip comes to you straight from one of my professors. Unfortunately, there will be things that you’re going to have to half-ass, so learn how to do it well. You don’t have to read every single word to get the gist of the chapter, just read the intros, conclusions, and make notes of lists. Get creative, be resourceful. Think smarter, not harder.
Learn how to say “no”
- You have a lot on your plate, no need to take on more if you don’t think you can handle it. We often bite off more than we can chew, but then we end up choking. You’re allowed to say no if it’s not actually expected of you. Obviously, do what you’re assigned, but you’re really not obligated to do anything outside of that.
Stay hydrated, eat and sleep
- Basically, take care of your body. It does a lot for you, so treat it well. Staying hydrated prevents headaches, eating healthy gives you energy, and sleeping gives your brain a break. If you overwork your body, it’s gonna crash on you when you need it the most.
Take time for yourself
- You have a lot of things you need to do, but you’re not gonna do it well if you crash. Take some time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy. Whether it’s watching a netflix episode, having a snack, taking a nap, or spending time with some friends, giving your brain a break is important to help you keep going. You’ll come back to your work refreshed and ready to go.
You might not be able to accomplish everything on this list right away. It’s hard to start healthy habits, and harder to break bad ones. Just take it a day at a time, and try something new everyday. With a little bit of work and commitment, you can learn how to better manage your time.