Second semester is well under way and I know that everyone is going through Spring’s edition of “Exams: Part 1.” On top of that, you’ve got 10 different student organizations recruiting you, hard, along with your parents hounding you about finding a job or internship. And with Valentine’s Day coming up, you may have to make time for you significant other, not to mention that Spring Break trip to Cocoa Beach you still have to plan with your bros. This is a busy time of year for everyone and I know you may time yourself overwhelmed, but don’t worry! I’ve got some time-management tips to save yourself from a meltdown.
(1) If you don’t have a planner, get one. If you find that you’re not using your planner, try something else. I thought the best way to be organized was to plan everything out on Google Calendar, but I discovered that didn’t work for me, so then I tried using the calendar on my phone. Also didn’t work. Now I have a weekly planner/journal that I use to organize my week on the planner side and my thoughts on the journal side. Keep trying. There’s something out there for you, you just have to go find it.
(2) Take some time to make time. It took some time to go through my planner and write down all of my classes, meetings, exams, and assignment due dates, but it’s totally been worth it. I also noticed that my computer has slowed down significantly in the past two years, so this weekend I went through and deleted all the programs that I don’t use any more. I also deleted all of the random things I had saved to my desktop. After you clean up your computer and maybe organize all of your documents, pictures, and songs, make sure to defrag. (If you don’t know how to do that, just Google it). Also, do some research and look up different ways to manage your time and get organized. Taking the time to do these things will not only save you time later, but it will make you feel much more organized, accomplished, and stress-free.
(3) Prioritize. Decide what things HAVE to get done today. If you have to do your paper for History tonight, but your Bio reading can wait until tomorrow, then make note. If you finish your paper early, then you can do your reading. The fact that it’s planned and that you’re prioritizing is the key. Also, don’t put answering e-mails, tweeting, or facebook over more productive things like applying for internships or doing homework. Your profile will still be there tomorrow.
(4) Plan time for yourself. Don’t forget to plan some time for yourself in your week. I know that if you have class from 10 to 2, work from 2 to 4, and then a meeting at 5, it’s easy to pencil in homework or another meeting between 4 and 5, but remember that you’ll need a break to eat, nap, socialize, or just have some time to yourself.
(5) Recognize that you’re procrastinating. Let’s face it. Procrastination is an epidemic and the only cure is will power. First, realize that you’re procrastinating. Chances are several people have told you. Second, think about why you’re not being as productive as you’d like. Usually it’s because you don’t want to do the task at hand, mainly because you’re either overwhelmed or you find the task unpleasant. Third, power through it. Set small goals, give yourself rewards, ask someone to keep an eye on you, whatever it takes to get you through the task. Most importantly, realize that every minute you waste not doing the task, is a minute you can’t have back and a minute of work that could have already been behind you. For more tips on how to beat procrastination, check out this article.