It sometimes seems like we have all the time in the world. Other times, it seems like the time just goes away.
If the latter applies to you, you may need some tips on time management.
I had to learn all the lessons of time management the hard way. I am a full-time student, I have a full-time job, I blog, I work out, I try to have somewhat of a social life, I recently moved into a new apartment, the list goes on and on.
Time management is absolutely everything when it comes to getting anything done. Without proper time management, I don’t think I’d get even half of my work done. I pack my days full of busy work, but it’s worth it to me because I get some free time on the weekends, and I often feel accomplished. If you need some advice for time management, look no further. I never claim to be an expert on time, but I have learned some lessons and continue to learn along the way. If I could help some of you out, I am always happy to share.
1. Make a Schedule and Try to Stick To It
I think the biggest mistake people make is not creating a schedule. If you have no plan for your day, how do you expect to manage your time? Make a tentative schedule for your day or week, and try to stick with it. Plan based off of priorities, responsibilities, etc. I tend to separate my hours and designate some to homework, some to blogging, some to workouts, and so on. No, you don’t have to stick to your schedule 100%. Life happens and sometimes things change. However, as long as you are doing your best to stick to a schedule for the sake of being organized, you may see that you get much more done throughout the week.
2. Take Small Breaks
It is easy to get distracted when you are constantly working without a break. I try to take a 5 minute break every 30-45 minutes. I watch a Youtube video. I grab a snack. I do anything I need to do to get my mind out of work. It may seem counterproductive to take breaks, but trust me, it may be the best thing you do. If you need to take a break to stay productive and avoid burnout, just do it. You’ll get more done in the end.
3. Set Weekly Goals
I make lists every week of things I need to do and some goals for the week. There is a lot of satisfaction in crossing things off your list. It shows accomplishment, productivity, and makes you feel a bit better as the week goes on. I get a bit overwhelmed by my to-do lists, but as they slowly get smaller throughout the week, I end up feeling happy that I put in the time to get stuff done. No, you don’t always have to reach all of your goals and if you don’t get to something in a week, that’s fine. Just make it a priority for next time. I don’t think that time management is about perfection. It’s about progress and staying as productive as possible.
4. Reward Yourself
Congrats! You made it through a long, busy day! Reward yourself with a movie, some time with friends, watching a tv show you like, reading a book, whatever it is you like to do. You’ll probably burnout if you don’t do anything fun or relaxing. Go out with your friends. Go to the fair. Have a night to just watch Netflix and eat dessert. Take a day to watch football or go out on the town. You’ve worked hard all week. You’ve earned it.
It’s not easy (or fun) to make a strict schedule and stick to it. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be strict. I call my schedule “strict and tentative” because I try to stick to it the best I can, but if I have to change it, I change it. Life happens. Make sure that you don’t overwork yourself and do what you think you can handle. We’re all busy, but taking care of yourself and getting some sleep is just as important.
The better you manage your time, the less you’ll have to scramble and stress out over stuff that is due the next day. It’s difficult to live a stress-free life, but trust me, time management helps. Don’t underestimate it. It has completely improved my academic achievement and my productivity overall.
Do what you can and use your time well. You won’t regret it.