- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 02 March 2016
- Written by COURTNEY BUELL | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Time management is a tough skill to master, especially in college. It seems that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all of the things done on your list. Balancing school, work, and a social life seems nearly impossible, but somehow it has to be done. It is so easy to let things spin out of control, to throw caution to the wind and hope everything goes well. But you’ll find that without proper planning, balancing these things will take a physical and emotional toll on you and leave you stressed.
Productivity stems from organization. Having some form of written schedule, whether it be a piece of paper or a planner, will make you feel organized and ready to take on the day. Organize tasks by the time it will most likely be accomplished, even color-code which tasks are school, work or social related. Alyssa Cosentino, a sophomore psychology student said, “My planner makes me feel like I really have my life together. I don’t know what I would do without it.”
List proper times for these things to happen. Having a written sample of all the tasks you need to accomplish today will leave you in a better state of mind, and it’s difficult to forget something once it’s written down.
With a clear schedule for activities, it’s easy to think that having a time for everything will work perfectly. Unfortunately, life is not perfect and neither are you. Mistakes happen, so it is also incredibly important to leave time for something to go wrong. Countless times people are late because of car trouble, spilled coffee, or their printer didn’t work. Daniela Climenti, a junior communication student said, “I can’t tell you how many times I was running late and everything seemed to go wrong.” Things go awry often, so it’s nice to be prepared and leave some extra time just in case. Having mistake time accounted for will relieve stress when things actually do go wrong and you’ll thank yourself in the end.
Procrastination is the enemy of time management. For some it is how they live their lives. They wait until the last minute to get things done. There is nothing wrong with procrastination, especially if the same result is achieved and the task is completed. If procrastination is something you can’t shake, but still don’t want the stress that results from it, try writing down all of the things you need to get done and rank them by level of importance.
Things that have little consequence on whether they get done or not go on the bottom, while things that absolutely need to get done go at the top. This puts into perspective what is really important for the procrastinator, and odds are the things that aren’t as important can wait until later.
Distractions lurk at every corner. It is so much easier to get thrown off track these days. Social media makes it so tempting, even while at work, to just check out what others are doing. To be productive, checking these outlets must be limited. Try putting your phone on airplane mode so you won’t be tempted, or instead try rewarding yourself with it.
For every task that needs to be done, allow yourself a limited amount of time to take a break and check your social media. If there’s an episode on Netflix you’ve been dying to get to, get a certain amount of work done, then watch it. Remember that breaks in moderation while working are good. It may bring some clarity to you and help you from getting tired and giving up.
Lorna Schmidt, Director of Advising and communication instructor said, “Planning is so important in order to effectively time-manage.” While planning will make things much easier, it is important to understand that it’s okay to not be able to get to everything. It’s impossible for someone to expect that much of you, and odds are they’re battling the same time management issues you are. With some practice and a little motivation, you’ll be productive in no time.
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