Time Management Basics

tumblr_mklbg2Pc5O1qln7vao1_500Struggling with time management now that a flurry of activities and assignments seem to be on the way? It’s difficult, in school, to coordinate all your class work and create time for your own interests. These are my tried and true tips and tricks for keeping balanced and organized lifestyle.

I make an effort to manage my time so that I can appreciate and cultivate my hobbies and other initiatives. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy my studies, but I believe in a balance of activities that add necessity for scheduling and time management.

I’ve found the most success in

  • Carrying a date book and record a schedule. It doesn’t have to be rigorous, but book containing a calendar of events that you write down your commitments in does help me stay on track. I remember more clearly pencilling things in. Once you’re committed to an agenda, you’ll be in love. Soon you’ll see where your time is spent, how much you’re really accomplishing and the best ways to organize overlapping schedules (be it classes, or hobbies, activities or special events).
  • Taking that a step further – try to record scheduled times for events and activities. Have it as a visual in front of you that you have class from 9:30-11, will grab lunch from 11-12, and will make time to finish your essay from 12-3 before your next class. Just think to yourself that, “ANY truly important event happening should include a time”. It will keep you keen on the clock and ready to make the most of your allotted minutes.
  • Leave some leeway in-between. Everyone gets interrupted and planning too much in one day can be just as back as wasting your time doing nothing if you’re unable to finish your commitments on time. Over planning can lead to feeling like you’ve fallen short on your To-Do list.
  • Break bad habits. Don’t make To-Do lists that you’re forever leaving incomplete. Write down things as you accomplish them. While I love (truly love) lists, it’s much better to refer to a schedule with limitations that challenge you and demand much more discipline. If you must make To-Do lists organize them by priority. Do not make lists for various different activities in different fields without some structure of what MUST be done NOW and what CAN be done LATER.
  • Eat on a schedule. Make meal prep on the weekend and put lunches together if you’re out at class. Make sure that you get a routine breakfast, lunch, and dinner with some snacks. Taking control of this small part of your life will help in many different areas as well as organizing your time.
  • Block the bad sites. If you’re working on a paper, download Stay Focused (on Chrome).  Anything that keeps Youtube, Buzzfeed and Facebook blocked. You can organize time limits and set which sites are the most notorious for dragging you away from your assignments.
  • Make time for the things you love. If it’s 30 minutes of reading before bed, an evening with your friends or allowing yourself an extra hour on Buzzfeed. Balance is important and it’s just as necessary to account for things that are comfortable and lazy.

Good luck with the new semester McGillians!

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