Tips for Time Management

Some days, I wish I could go back to being a freshman again, when the few things I actually had to worry about was studying for tests, making sure I made the right friends, and participating in sorority life. Even then, time management was already an issue, however, I probably had the most time to myself during that period. When I became a sophomore, I began interning and involving myself in various clubs and organizations. It became apparent that life was not going to get easier. Fast forward to this semester and here I am, a senior, chastising myself and full of regret over taking on three internships, a difficult course load, and falsely thinking that I actually had time for a social life.

I eventually got the hang of it, but not without pulling multiple all-nighters and depriving myself of social and mental health. Therefore, this article is here to guide you so that you don’t make the same mistakes as I did and so that you can still be a #girlboss while having a healthy work-life balance.

1. Acceptance and Underestimation

Unless you have chronic insomnia, you’re going to need to realize that sacrifices are going to be made and that unless you actually cater to what’s important, it’s going to be a difficult road. The key is to never underestimate time. However, if you set a routine, and really discipline yourself, then you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

2. Prioritize

Know what’s important to you. What needs to be done first? At this point, are your grades more important or are you in your last semester of senior year and know that that internship is more important because it will land you the after-college job? I must emphasize that health should take priority over all. You shouldn’t be creating a schedule around studies and work, but rather around sleep, meals, and exercise (if you’re one of those). For example, you can ask yourself, what time should I start studying so that I can sleep at xx o’clock?

3. Planner and Routine

Discipline takes accountability from a good planner and a routine. Some people love to physically write their schedules down in a planner while others are better off recording it on their calendars on their phones or laptops. Whatever the method, make sure that you stick to it and that it’s the first thing that you do when something new pops up in your life. Another thing to do is to set a general routine around when you do certain activities such as studying, eating, and working out. However, your routine shouldn’t be so set in stone that it isn’t flexible.

4. Reward Yourself and Take Breaks

Too much work and no play can cause a person to become cold and bitter, so make sure you plan breaks in between study sessions. One way you can do this is by implementing the 50-10 rule. Set a timer to study for 50 minutes and once the timer goes off, set another one 10 minutes as a break. Throughout the week, reward yourself for little things like finishing off a midterm or getting through the busy season at your internship. Regardless of how you did, you got through it alive and well.

5. Let Your Friends Energize you

 

Create a schedule for your social life. Hanging out with friends is so important because it can sometimes be energizing. For example, last semester I would go on a “Wednesdate” with one of my friends every week. It was one of the things I looked most forward to and often times was the catalyst that got me through the week.

6. Believe in Yourself

 

Yes, it’s difficult, but you have to trust yourself enough to know that no matter what happens, you’re going to come out of this alive and breathing. Stress is just a byproduct of overthinking and so quelling it requires you to implement a routine schedule, to know what your priorities are, to have breaks and rewards, and to realize that you’re only human too. However, regardless of how difficult it may get, know that you will come out a stronger and better version of you than you would have been had you decided not to take on the challenge.