7 Tips for Better Time Management

In college, and life in general, one never seems to have enough hours in a day. I can’t even begin to tell you how many blog posts I looked up on Pinterest on “How to Be the ‘Do-It-All’ Girl.” It seems like everyone is in constant go-mode and there’s no way to keep up with it all. So if you, like me, find that most of your days both end and begin in stress or exhaustion, it may be time to make a few adjustments.

Not to play the comparison game but, just about everyone has a busy schedule and yet there are somehow those that can seemingly get everything done. It’s not because they are magically a better person than you, but rather they just figured out a strategy that works for their time and how to get the most out of it. Once you’ve figured out how to better manage your time you can utilize the time you have to be more productive. So here are some of my best tips to start taking back control of your time:

  1. 1. Stop Multitasking

    While multi-tasking used to be a super skill and keyword that everyone would throw on their resume, research shows that our brains can really only focus on one thing at a time. So while you think you’re being productive writing that research paper for class A while also working on those short-answer questions for class B, you’re really just slowing yourself down by constantly interrupting your focus to switch back and forth after every couple of sentences.

    Instead of multi-tasking, try single-tasking━work on one task at a time and once your done, or if you’re not done but have worked on it for a sufficient amount of time and need a break, then you can move on to the next task.

  2. 2. Prioritize Tasks

    A big key that changed how I managed my time was prioritizing the things I had to do. In reality, no one can really do everything, but they can, for the most part, make time for the most important tasks. Along with this also goes prioritizing time for yourself. If you make having downtime just for you a priority you won’t feel like you’re constantly running around exhausted all the time.

  3. 3. Set Deadlines

    If you set deadlines for when you want to have things done by then it will be hard for you to procrastinate. When you write out a list of everything you have to do, determine the amount of time that each task should take, and then try to finish things in the allotted time.

  4. 4. Work When Most Productive (and Remove Distractions)

    You’ve probably heard some people say that they’re a night owl and others say that they’re more of an early bird. So, whether you work better at night, in the morning, or even in the middle of the day, then that’s the time in which you have to work on your most important tasks. Removing yourself from distractions, such as your phone, TV, or chatty friends will also make it easier for you to focus and get things done.

    Try to use those peak energy/productivity hours as designated ‘Do Not Disturb’ hours as well. You can return to your regular social media scrolling filled gossip sessions with your friends during the times of the day when you know you wouldn’t have been able to get much done anyway.

  5. 5. Only Take On What You Can Finish (and Decline Additional Commitments)

    After reading all those ‘how to’ blog posts about being a ‘do-it-all’ girl, and from my own experiences, what I’ve learned is that you simply won’t be able to do everything all the time, and you don’t actually have to either. If you know you won’t have time to do something, or taking on the extra tasks will push you too far over your stress threshold, then just say no.

  6. 6. Only Focus On What Matters

    Don’t worry about the things that aren’t a top priority because if they were really important, you would have prioritized them and gotten to them first. You should also keep in mind what I said before about single-tasking, in order to get the most out of the time you have in a day, be mindful of each moment you are in and of each task you are working on, and why you chose to dedicate time to these such things in the first place.

  7. 7. Get in a Routine

    One final tip to help you better manage your time is to set up a routine for yourself. If and whenever possible, I highly suggest dedicating certain times to do the same thing each day or week. This way you won’t have to worry about WHEN you’ll be able to get something done because you’ll already have time set into your schedule for doing certain types of things, like having downtime for yourself or working on your side-hustle.

Now, I wish I could say that after utilizing these tips that I’m the Queen of Time Management, but I have to be honest, the art of honing effective time management skills has been a real trial and error journey for me. All I hope for is that these tips can help you along your journey away from procrastination, overwhelm, and late-night cramming sessions and closer to calm, cool and collected productivity.