I’m back bitches! Autumn has officially arrived and on this chilly day I have decided to make a little guide on something I have been lacking recently. And that’s time management.
I’ve been off the grid recently due to that fact that procrastination has been taking over my life. I’ve been so busy with on campus TV shows and homework that I haven’t had the time to be active. This excuse ends now as I am designating time towards doing what I love: blogging! Below are a series of tips on how to organize your time, maximizing happiness and ultimately lowering stress levels.
Planning is Key
Although this seems to be the most obvious, it also has it’s way of being the hardest rule to follow. Planning is everything and without it, your life will seem and feel like a mess before you know it.
Marking your calendar is a great place to start. Whether it be on your phone, your fridge, or in a planner, doing this simple step will prevent you from overbooking your schedule.
In addition, having a To Do List is crucial to make sure you get what you need to get done for the day. Prioritize what absolutely needs to be completed and make sure it is finished before you start the next task.
Something I’ve found extremely helpful is having a separate list specific for groceries and necessities to buy. Taking the extra two seconds to write those little things down will save you from going back and forth from the convenience store.
Organizing homework assignments by class, size of project, and due date surprisingly does wonders to keeping on schedule. I highly suggest using myhomeworkapp.com to assist in assignment organization. Not only does this apply to students, it also works for young professionals as well! Taking a step back and a deep breath to create a daily plan will work wonders on your mental health and stress levels. Knowing what you have to get done for the day and allowing enough time to do it is the first step to successful planning. Let’s face it, you don’t wanna end up being this man:
Making Time for Yourself
A part of time management is dedicating time for yourself and no one else. Going for a walk is the perfect way to destress. I aim to go for a walk at least once a day before class, preferably around the Boston Commons, or walk to work instead of taking the T. With this, I am designating some down time to either sip on some coffee (or chai tea latte since I don’t like coffee #sorrynotsorry) and maybe put on some headphones and listen to some music. If you are worried about your social life, this is also the perfect way to make catching up with a friend cheap! Instead of spending all that money on an expensive meal, going for a walk on a nice day is the perfect way to get that fresh air while getting all the hot gossip with your friend. Whether it be binging Netflix, drinking tea, or taking a nice bath, making time for yourself will ultimately make your working time more productive. A key to time management.
Take the Time to Wake up Early
Realize you need to shave your legs for that nice dress you plan on wearing? Spill the milk all over your kitchen floor? Get makeup all over your new sweater? (All things I’m guilty of myself.) Well, reality is, you never know what is going to happen in the morning. Always add ten extra minutes for mistakes. By doing this you can now ensure the time for yourself on that walk to work while lowering stress levels. Think about it like this: five minutes early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. Waking up ten minutes earlier than you need to will leave a better impression on everyone around you. And so what if you are dressed and it’s too early to leave the apartment yet? Now you have time to watch one more episode of that Netflix show you’ve been binging. BUT, don’t let that become the reason you are late. This nit-picky detail with save you more than you think with managing your time. Trust me, you’ll want to avoid this:
Learn How to Say No
Sounds simple right? Well it’s not. In the blink of an eye, you are overbooking yourself by saying yes to every single opportunity that comes your way. Limit how often you go out. Although everyone strives for a thriving social life, sometimes staying in rather than going out is more important to your mental health and overall success.
Don’t overfill your schedule. This extends from social life and applies to work shifts as well as meetings. I understand you want to please everyone at your job, but there is a limit to what you can do! Whoever you are saying no to should understand and if they don’t… well, I would rethink their importance to you. Saying no to others and yes to yourself will payoff in the long run and will allow time for what is truly important to you.
Prioritize Tasks and Set a Time Limit
Touched upon previously, prioritizing is an extremely crucial aspect for time management. Recognizing what is necessary to complete vs. what can be put on the bottom of your “To Do List” will help you organize your life on a day to day basis. Be careful though as this can easily lead to a procrastination issue!
Additionally, setting a time limit to each task is also essential to staying on track. This will allow you to plan out your day and force you to stay alert and enthusiastic.
Eliminate Distractions so you Don’t Fall Behind Schedule
I am the cause of my own demise ninety percent of the time due to distractions. It is too easy to get lost on social media or Netflix. Do not do work in bed. Unless you have some sort of superpower, writing that essay in the comfort of your own bed will put you to sleep. If you don’t believe me, read this article.
Put that phone on silent and put it out of arms reach. Let’s face it; once you’re sitting down and comfy, you don’t want to get back up. If you put your electronics far enough away you will be less tempted to check because well, you physically can’t and won’t. Designate break times so you can check your texts, emails, and social media. This will help you so you can stay on topic while you need to, but still be updated with the outside world.
You might ask, “Aren’t most assignments online nowadays?” While this may be true, set different tabs for class or work to help separate tasks. I found the “Spaces” plugin for Google Chrome extremely helpful for this. It allows you to save windows even when you close them and name them depending on the subject, saving that extra step for when you’re in a rush.
Schedule Email Response Times
I have found that dedicating specific hours to doing miscellaneous work, such as responding to emails, is crucial to managing time. Before I started to do this, I caught myself scrambling to complete work then would realize I haven’t even responded to important messages. Designating a time on your calendar to get back to people and to organize your week will relieve a lot of stress in your daily life. I find going to coffee shops a good way to stay focused and be productive for this.
Pick your Outfit the Night Before
This may sound silly, but you’ll thank me once you make it a habit. For those times you are running late, waking up in the morning and seeing your outfit laid out on your chair will simply make you sigh of relief. Honestly, enough said.
SAVE YOUR WORK
Ironically, I actually wrote this post a couple days ago and unfortunately deleted the entire article. So here we are again, starting from scratch. Always make sure your work is saved because I promise you that you will be very sad to notice that all your hours of hard work is simply gone.
Phew, finally done (again).
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