The start of each semester is exciting and full of optimism, but it’s only a matter of time before things can get a little bit, well…crazy. Feeling like you’re swamped with responsibilities is overwhelming, so check out the time-management strategies we think will take some of this weight off of your shoulders.
Find a planning tool that works for you.
“Use a planner” is often the first suggestion people spit off when asked about time management, but this isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. If you’ve tried the whole “planner” strategy and found yourself still falling off track, look into other planning tools that might be a better fit — like apps, digital calendars, or even bullet journals.
Identify your biggest time-wasters.
Instagram? Texting? Memes? We’re all guilty of these fun little distractions, but take note of the ones that really steer you off track. You don’t have to completely give them up, but you can start finding ways to limit your time on them when you’ve got to get down to business. If you’re not good at controlling temptation, temporarily blocking distracting apps and websites is always an option.
Keep your school materials & notes organized.
Organization and time management go hand in hand. Think about it — how much of your study session involves finding your materials and then flipping back and forth through your notes? Making sure your notebooks are thoroughly labeled (date, chapter, lesson, etc.) can save you a lot of time, but that’s just the start. We suggest adopting a note-taking technique that’ll save you time while you’re jotting things down, and when you revisit your notes to study. We listed a few of those techniques here.
If you’re a fan of digital tools, we think you’d love an app like Evernote. You can scan your handwritten notes from class right into the app. When it comes time to study, the app lets you search your handwriting for whatever term you’re looking for.
Come up with a weekly plan.
Taking things one day at a time doesn’t really work when it comes to time management. Before you know it, you’re stuck cramming for an exam because it completely snuck up on you! Instead, start looking at what’s ahead of you at the beginning of each week. Then you can start planning the best course of action to tackle everything on your plate.
Take care of your needs.
Okay, what does this have to do with time management? A lot, actually. Finding time to juggle all of your responsibilities should never involve neglecting sleep, meals, or even just some “me” time. That’s a recipe for stress and burnout, meaning you’ll start procrastinating more, focusing less, and just generally killing your productivity.
We’d love to hear your best time management strategies. Share them in the comments below!