Earlier in 2018, I wrote a column for the Gazette about balancing school and work.
Time management is a very delicate and personalized topic – one I personally struggle with. Since midterm season is upon us, I wanted to share my top three time management tips for school.
Buy a planner
My planner is honestly the single most important thing in my world (sorry Mom!)
I personally like planners with a weekly view as well as days with lines, so it’s easy to write out everything that needs to be done. I also find planners with tabs for each month useful, along with a monthly view page so I can star days off, holidays, birthdays, etc.
I write everything in my planner and it is my saving grace. Being extremely busy all the time, which is how I like life, and not having a natural knack for managing time well, means I need to ensure my planner is organized and up-to-date.
At the start of the semester, I go through all my course syllabuses and update my planner according to important dates from professors. At the beginning of each week, I write in whatever else is on the go, such as doctor appointments, hair appointments, and other miscellaneous tasks.
If you don’t have a planner, go get one right now! Well, finish reading this column first, then go get a planner. The one pictured above is from Chapters and is my best friend.
Lists are key
I become distracted and get off track very easily. When I have a long study day ahead, I need to start by writing down all the things I need to do so I can at least attempt to focus.
“There is something nice about heading into the week knowing you’ve already completed so much.”
Write out the top few things you absolutely need to accomplish and then write out a few smaller things to do if you have time. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing the last item off your list after a productive day.
Whenever I make a list I always write a few things down that I’ve already done, so I can start my study session feeling accomplished. I think this tricks my brain into believing we’re on a roll and I get more done. Anyone else do this? Just me? Okay.
Sunday is the perfect day to prepare for the week ahead to ensure you spend minimal time doing unnecessary tasks and use your time wisely during the week.
Making lunches, doing laundry and running errands will make it easier to manage your time effectively throughout the week when you should be doing work for your classes. There is something nice about heading into the week knowing you’ve already completed so much.
Time management can be hard, especially if you’re naturally scatter-brained like myself. However, over the past few years I have learned a few things that ensure I can keep myself on track and use my time more effectively.
Hopefully my little tricks will also help you during midterm season and throughout the rest of your year.