How to Keep Track of Your Life

College can get overwhelming at times. Balancing school, social life, extracurriculars, and chores can seem nearly impossible. Time management skills can be absolutely essential to keep all the plates of life spinning. This doesn’t only apply to procrastinating too long on assignments, it also entails planning and organizing things ahead of time. Here are a few of my tried and true tricks to time management.

 

Write it down. Whether you use a physical notebook that you carry around, the notes app on your phone, or a Google Calendar, writing things down is absolutely essential. I make separate lists for classwork that has to get done and obligations I have to go to, so I can see when I have free time and can plan ahead when to work on what. How many times has someone told you something and you think “Okay, I’ll remember that,” and then you… don’t. Writing everything down, no matter how trivial, makes sure you don’t forget anything and also can be a helpful visual aid to planning your days. 

Take some time on Sundays to plan ahead. Look through your syllabi for all your classes and determine what work has to get done by what point in the week, and even see if there’s anything you could realistically get ahead on! That research paper might not be due for two weeks, but spending an hour on it this week can be really helpful to you in the future. When you look ahead to your week, it’s useful to also plan when to do laundry, clean your room, or fill your Brita filter. That way you’re sure they can get done consistently and you won’t have to drop everything when you realize you have no more clean pants.

Treat yourself well. It’s much easier to plan to spend seven hours in the library than to actually do it. Plan to spend time doing things that make you happy! There’s no point in pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion all the time; you’re allowed to relax and take a step back. I’ve found that planning ahead usually gives me more free time since I make better use of my time in general. Scheduling an evening in to take a long shower, do a facemask, and watch a movie can be more productive for your physical and mental health than spending that evening in the library.

 

Time management doesn’t mean spending every free moment in your day working or going to meetings, it’s simply a tool that enables you to budget your time to different areas of your life. Spending every day slacking off is no better for your physical and mental health than spending 14 hours in the library, it’s all about moderation. A little time spent at the beginning of the week can make everything a lot more manageable in the long run! I hope this makes life a little less stressful, good luck!