Build Effective Time Management
It is often difficult to juggle classes, work, and extracurricular activities simultaneously. However, good time management is essential for the business world, and it is a quality that many employers look for in prospective employees. Here are some tips to effectively manage your time:
- Carry a Planner: Carrying a daily planner is a great way to keep track of your assignments, meetings, and social events, so that you never forget anything. After you schedule these tasks and events, schedule in study hours. If you set aside time to study each day, you feel less compelled to cram later. Keep your planner with you during the day, so that you can update it as you go. Look at your planner every night, in order to plan out your next day before it happens.
- Set goals: Before you go to bed, make a list of goals. These goals may include "read 2 chapters of Financial Accounting" or "get at least 7 hours of sleep." Making this list allows you to plan your next day accordingly, so that you are able to accomplish these goals. These goals should be realistic and reachable. Setting goals will encourage you to follow through with your plans.
- Prioritize: After setting your goals, prioritize them and accomplish the most important task first. Figure out which goals can be accomplished at a later date. If you prioritize your goals, you will be less likely to procrastinate and more likely to accomplish what you meant to do.
- Say "no": it is important to know when you are taking on too many projects and activities. Saying "no" to that additional project or to that additional night out with your friends may be beneficial in allowing you to focus on the goals you have set for yourself. It is easy for some people to over-commit themselves, which is why carrying a planner and setting goals will help you to realize just how much extra time you do have available and when you need to say "no".
- Take advantage of spare time: Do you ever have short breaks between classes and you don't know what to do? Use this time to study your notes for a few minutes, so that you do not have so much to study later. Or, take that time to update your planner or to set some goals for the day. All of these spare minutes add up to a significant amount of time that would otherwise be wasted.
- Know when you are most productive: Are you a morning person or a night person? It is important to know what time of day you are most productive, so that you can plan to do your most challenging activities during that time. Schedule your less challenging activities for times when you are less productive.
- Stop procrastinating: Sometimes, procrastination is a result of fear. Many times students are so anxious to start a difficult project or study for a difficult test that they put it off until the last minute. In order to combat procrastination, divide your difficult projects or study sessions into smaller sections. This will make doing the project or studying for the test seem more manageable, and when you finish one section, you might be more willing to complete the next.
- Be flexible: While it is great to have a daily schedule, allow and prepare for interruptions and last-minute assignments and events. Know that not everything will fit perfectly into your schedule. Prepare back-up plans in case a last minute meeting is scheduled, or in case a class is canceled and you suddenly have more free time.
- Make time for yourself: While it is important to complete your current assignments and work ahead on future ones, it is also important to take time away from your busy schedule, and do something that you love. Watch an episode of your favorite TV show, pick up your favorite magazine, go for a walk, or visit a museum. Put down your study materials and relax. This will help you reenergize and relax before your next busy day.