If you feel stressed about time, or just want to be more effective, implementing time management tips can help you succeed. Getting organized and being intentional about how we spend our time can make a big impact on our productivity.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Be aware of your time. Everyone has 24 hours, but how we use those hours and our individual responsibilities can vary wildly. Write down how you spend your time in half-hour increments to map out how you are spending your 24 hours. Knowing how you currently spend your time will help you make an effective schedule.
Evaluate your absolutes and your opportunities. Your absolutes are the things you have to do, such as attending class, sleeping cleaning and cooking. Opportunities are times you spend doing things like watching TV, playing games and scrolling on social media.
Be mindful of when you are most productive. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Or are afternoons when you feel most energetic and focused? Your peak time is a great time to schedule difficult tasks to help ensure you will be able tackle them.
Make a weekly schedule. Enter in your absolutes first. If you need more time for the items you have to accomplish, you can reduce your opportunities time slots. Make sure to allow time to prepare for the upcoming day. Things like food planning and laying out your clothes the night before can make your day go much smoother.
Eliminate uncertainty. A major cause of procrastination is uncertainty, which can cause a lot of stress. If you have any questions about an assignment or material in a class, reach out to your instructor. They’re passionate about their classes and are here to help you learn. Please do not wait until things have snowballed to get help. Also – remember that tutoring is available.
Learn when to say yes and no. If you have a full plate, saying no to an extracurricular task might be your best option. It can be hard for many of us to say no or that we need help, but recognizing your limits isn’t a failure. Stretching yourself too thin will leave you burned out, and if you take on too much, it can be impossible to do everything well.
Take care of yourself. Make time for a full night’s sleep, stay hydrated, eat healthy food, and get up and moving regularly. Taking short breaks from homework or studying to walk is a great way to add exercise to your day and can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle your work when you return to it. You will be more productive if you feel well, and any time you spend caring for yourself is always well spent.
Thank you to Lisa Hansen, director of TRIO and Tutoring at Black Hawk College, for holding a virtual workshop on Time Management.