Time management is a crucial skill with life-long benefits. If you can learn time management skills early, those to-do lists won’t take as long, and you’ll have more time for the things you love. If you struggle to get tasks done (like most humans), these time management tips will help you increase your productivity!
Don’t look at the big picture.
In some cases, it’s important to consider the big picture. But, when it comes to your to-do list, you’ll feel less overwhelmed if you concentrate on one task at a time.
Review your to-do list.
Complete the most critical tasks first. Throw in an easy task after you’ve completed a few larger items. There’s nothing more satisfying than checking off all the projects (and closing all the tabs on your computer) when you’re done!
Decide the time of day that you’re most productive.
We all operate on different schedules. Some of us are morning people who crawl into bed before the sun sets. Others are night owls who don’t feel fully conscious until late afternoon. There’s no right or wrong way to operate. If you choose the time you’re most productive, you’re likely to remain focused and retain more information.
Take advantage of your downtime.
Downtime could be anything from a break between classes to a short workout or relaxing walk. Take advantage of the gaps in your schedule. Even if you have essays to write or math problems to finish, you’ll worry less if you’re chipping away at your work and taking breaks throughout the day.
Give yourself a timeframe.
Use your phone alarm to help you keep track of how long you work on each task. You may be more efficient if you work on a to-do list item for an hour instead of not moving on until the assignment is complete. You can always revisit the task after a short break.
Write everything down.
It doesn’t matter if you use a planner, an app, or a calendar with cute puppies, choose your favorite scheduling tool to keep track of classes, assignments, daily/weekly chores, upcoming exams, social events, and sports practices. Maintain a calendar so you know what to expect each day!
Estimate how long assignments and activities typically take.
If you usually need an hour for physics homework and two hours for jazz band, add that to your schedule. Add all your activities and assignments to your weekly agenda so you can see everything at a glance.
Learn to say no.
Unfortunately, you can’t say yes to everything. Recognize your priorities, and commit to the non-negotiable events and the ones you care about the most.
Identify your distractions.
The list of distractions never ends: Netflix, texting, scrolling through Insta, or even online shopping! If you can pinpoint your personal methods of procrastination, you will know what to avoid when you need to get work done.
Make time to be still.
We know you are busy, but take the time to slow down. Appreciate where you are in this precise moment, and forget about rushing and hurrying, even if only for a short time. If your tasks start stressing you out, take a few minutes to unwind and breathe. Once you give yourself a chance to rest, you can return refreshed.
Make it fun.
Make your mundane tasks more entertaining. Turn your chores into a dance party, or finish your philosophy reading under the shade of a tree. Sometimes it’s the little things that make it fun!
Effective time management can alleviate stress and help you perform to the best of your abilities. While some of us may be more naturally inclined to organization, it’s an attribute we can all develop with practice.