With many of us living lives that seem to move a million miles per minute, trying to divide up time between school, work, and your social life can be extremely overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you manage your time in a way that eliminates stress and maximizes productivity.
- Plan Ahead. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail! Using either a physical planner or an online calendar can be great ways to map out how you’re going to spend your time in the near future. Get your schedules for class, work, etc. handy and sit down once a week—or once a month if you really want to get ahead—to plug everything into your planner. In addition to putting down your schedule for each day, it is also helpful to create a to-do list of assignments, cleaning tasks, and anything else you need to get done that week.
- Be Realistic. A huge part of successful time management is being realistic. If you have a big project due on Friday, it might be more realistic to set aside small chunks of time each day that week instead of planning to power through it on Thursday night. It is also important to be realistic with the time you have between events when planning your schedule. Make sure you put enough time between class and work or practice and meetings to account for eating meals, changing clothes, sitting in traffic, or just taking a moment to relax before your next commitment.
- Give Yourself Breaks. It’s easy to get so caught up in getting your work done (and being the ambitious queen that you are) that you forget to give yourself time to breathe. When creating your study schedule, build in breaks every so often, like every 30-45 minutes, to eat a snack, check your phone, or stretch. Also, it may help to set a goal each day to be done with your work by a certain time so you can have the rest of the afternoon or evening to yourself. Take this time to unwind, scroll through TikTok, hang out with your friends, or anything else you consider ‘me’ time.
- Learn to Say No. Even if you already have a lot on your plate, it can still be tempting to keep piling more on. Another useful piece of advice is that it’s perfectly okay to say no to things! If a classmate is encouraging you to join a new club or a co-worker asks you to pick up an extra shift, don’t feel like you’re obligated to. If it’s something you feel inclined to do and you have enough space in your schedule, go for it! Just don’t push yourself to your limits by trying to make everyone else happy. This goes for spending time with friends as well; of course we would all love to be with our besties 24/7, but it’s okay to decline plans if you have work to get done or just need some alone time. Do your best to communicate this with them and try to plan hangouts and phone calls ahead of time. That way, you can still make time for the people you love the most, all while keeping the rest of your schedule in place!