Throughout high school I always thought I was “busy”. Little did I know that what I thought was “busy” then, is now my “have absolutely nothing going on” days. College quickly made me realize that the most important thing to being successful AND staying sane is time management. Being a full-time student, working two jobs, being involved in two organizations, and keeping my friendships alive it can become really hard to not go crazy! I think a lot of people are told this throughout high school and even the beginning of college but nobody actually explains what that entails. Don’t worry, I’m here to tell you all of my time management secrets!
-don’t wait till the last minute to do something, the earlier the better-
I know a lot of people think they can wait to study or write a paper the night before the test or it’s due date but for your mental health and your grades, DON’T. I always find that when I give myself about a week to accomplish a big task or study for a hard test, I feel that my work is much better and I perform much higher. Now, each task is going to be different when it comes to the amount of time you should start preparing beforehand due to it’s complexity and importance but after some practice you should get that down no problem! This means that you can accomplish a task a little at a time which gives you more opportunity to do other things that you enjoy and prevents your brain from hitting a creative block!
-use a planner 24/7-
I used to use a planner in high school but honestly it was more because it made me feel cool not because I had a ton going on to keep up with. In college, I use my planner because it is crucial to staying on top of everything! Now, I’m not saying you have to go buy a $50 planner in order to succeed I’m just saying to write everything down! That means you could use your phone, a $5 planner from Walmart, or an expensive one as long as you write important dates, tasks, and reminders in it! I like to use sticky notes to make a list of things that need to get done that week that way it’s the first thing I see when I open my planner! This is how I color code my planner:
Red: exams and quizzes or very important tasks
Green: meeting details for my TRIO job
Pink: if I am hanging out or meeting anyone for fun
Yellow: important meetings with my advisor or boss
Blue: any workout classes I’m attending or my workout for the day
Purple: TV shows I am watching (currently Grey’s! TGIT)
*: I put an aesteric next to anything that needs to be done immediately or is top priority
Now this is just what I do but obviously you can change the colors based on your preference but this works for me! When you color code, it makes it easier to see certain things quicker which means less time wasted for you!
-create a self-care list-
Succeeding in college is pretty important but nothing is more important than mental health! I have a list of things I like to pick from when I am starting to feel tired, overwhelmed, anxious, and completely drained to help me recharge my battery. Here are a few of mine:
- face mask
- reading the Bible
- reading my devotional
- calling a friend, parent, or sibling
- watching Netflix/YouTube
- listening to a podcast
- meditate (insight or breathe app)
-use your professors-
I quickly learned that sometimes an assignment isn’t going to make any sense and if you have no clue what you’re doing you can find yourself spending hours on it and going nowhere. That is a complete waste of time! I’ve found that if I’m ever stuck on a question or assignment I always contact my professor whether that be through email or office hours. Most of the time the professor is more than happy to help you and that’s what they are there for! That way, you’ll get done with the assignment much faster AND you’re guaranteed it’s done right! A win-win if you ask me.
-know when to say no-
I’m a big people pleaser so right away I said yes to everyone and everything because I didn’t want to let anyone down. I soon found out that that only made me miserable and in turn made other people miserable. You have to put yourself first so make sure you are absolutely positive you can do something. If you know you have homework and a huge test to study for, say no to your friend’s offer to Shakey Monday. If you have absolutely no hours to spare, don’t pick up a shift because a coworker asked you. Just be honest with everyone around you about why you can’t do something and they’ll understand. They’re going through the same thing!
-know your goals and update them often-
This one may seem silly but make sure you know your goals whether they be short-term or long-term. Look at them often and decide if things you’re doing now are supporting those goals and bringing you closer to achieving them. This way, it actually limits the amount of time you waste in the end AND makes you more productive. It also just doesn’t hurt to keep your future in check now and it gives you something to work towards!
These are just a few of my tips for managing my time that I have found to be successful. I hope you find some help with this blog post and comment any of your time management musts!