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Manage Your Time

some pencils in a pot, some old books on a blue school desk, and the text back to school written on a chalkboard, with a filter effect

As a student, my life can be a bit busy and overwhelming. It always seems like there is a lot to do in so little time. In my first-year of college, I especially struggled to meet deadlines, respond to important emails, and volunteer. I constantly questioned people’s abilities to cook, eat healthy, exercise, practice self care, study, and work all in a timely and organized manner. Compared to other individuals, I felt unprepared and under qualified. However, as my college experience progressed, I acquired a few time management skills that helped me keep track of all the important details in my life. Over time, I saw my mental and physical well-being and grades improve. I am no longer pressed for time, I am able to work ahead of time, and I can partake in some enjoyable activities like running. Accomplishing everything in a timely manner may seem arduous, but it is possible. The following list includes a few things that have helped me and I hope they can help you too. But before reading ahead and beginning your time management journey, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and tell yourself you can accomplish anything. With a few changes, self-discipline, and time management skills  all your goals and tasks can be accomplished.

  • Create a daily plan. Before sleeping take a few minutes to write down your plans, tasks, and goals for the next day. Try your best to stick to this plan.
  • Keep a planner/organizer. Write down deadlines, appointments, to-do lists, and other important dates and tasks in a planner. For me, crossing out the things I have done always makes me happy.
  • Prioritize. Based on your own judgement, determine which tasks and goals  are more important and do those first. More important things come first.
  • Track your time. Allocate a certain amount of time for each task. For example, exercise for 30 minutes, file papers for 40 minutes, read an important work/school-related article for 35 minutes.
  • Take a break between each task. Take a five minute break between each accomplishment. Clear your mind before starting the next thing on your list.
  • Silence those distractions. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other forms of social media have become a tremendous part of our life, but when working and studying silence those distraction. You can check all forms of social media in between your breaks.
  • Learn to say “no”. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Remember, it is okay to say no and solely focus on your current responsibilities.
  • Work during your weekends. Enjoy your weekend, but allocate a few hours on Saturday or Sunday to catch up on work or work ahead.
  • Exercise and eat healthy. Exercise may be inconvenient and time-consuming, but even just 30 minute of mild exercise can boost your energy and help you throughout the day. In addition, while buying a burger from a fastfood restaurant may save you more time, it is unhealthy and cause listlessness throughout the day.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours a day. When pressed for time, sleep is often compromised. However, lack of sleep may cause fatigue and low energy throughout the day making it even harder to accomplish all your daily tasks.

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