There are three areas you want to focus on in order to master time management. Achieve these and master your relationship with time.
by Priscilla Kwateng
Arrupe College of Loyola University
What is time management?
Time management is the process of setting time aside for goal productivity. There are three areas you want to focus on in order to master time management:
1) Avoid Procrastination.
Passing time won’t help get you anywhere. Sure, you’re at peace now but that due date isn’t budging anytime soon. Get your work done as soon as possible and you’ll have plenty of time to do nothing after! Trust me, you’d rather end up in that scenario than be stressed and panicked when the time comes. Thank me later.
2) Avoid Overachievement
Being too consumed with work and school will wear you out and put your mind and body in poor condition. How are you gonna put your all into something if you spend your energy on everything else? You’re already doing your best. Pace yourself!
3) Become Highly Efficient.
Finding the balance between procrastination and excessive work will prevent you from being overwhelmed in either scenarios. Efficiency will have all your work done and still keep you energized to invest your time into the things you actually care about. This way, everyone’s happy. Life is way less difficult with a little bit of responsibility.
If you can achieve all three of these areas, you can do anything! But how do we get to completing them in the first place?
Tip 1: Make A Schedule
So here’s the most obvious but first step to time management. Making a schedule means choosing certain hours of your day to dedicate yourself to certain tasks. It’s important that while making this schedule, you leave time for yourself. You wanna get stuff done but you don’t want to get too stretched out. You can’t do everything at once! You’re not Superman, you’re a college student, which isn’t bad but it’s not Superman.
To get started, get a calendar or a planner or a to-do list app like LifeSpace. If you really need to, get all of the above! Trying first listing out things that are more of a priority to you or have a more of an urgent deadline. Choose the days and times that you think are best for completing those tasks. For example, it’s the beginning of the weekend and your tasks could be:
- Make doctor’s appointment
- Clean room
- Finish science project
Let’s say you wake up at 9 AM. You have tons of choices. Dedicate your 10-12 AM to focusing on your tasks and you’ll have the rest of the day off. Or you can plan to call your doctor’s office at 10 AM, hang out with friends, clean your room at 5 PM, and finish your science project tomorrow Sunday at 2 PM.
Making your schedule is really all up to you and knowing what’s the most effective way to use your own energy. Do you work better in the day or the night? Are you someone who needs to get things done all in one time period or have fifteen-minute breaks in-between to recharge? The best way to learn is to put your time management into daily practice.
Tip 2: Discipline Yourself
Look, I get it. Writing a five-page mid-term paper is super boring. Watching five more episodes of Stranger Things seems super enticing right now, but you have to learn to discipline yourself. If you always let yourself fall prey to those sneaky impulses of yours, you’ll never be free! Self-control is a must when it comes to time management. You have to learn to stick to what you’ve planned.
Once you get this step down, you’ll be one step closer to being properly efficient. Besides, just because you can’t watch five episodes now doesn’t mean you can’t get to it later after your paper. Stranger Things isn’t going anywhere (I hope), but that mid-term is getting graded with or without your submittal.
Tip 3: Make Time For Yourself
While learning to manage your time well is crucial, nothing is more important than your health. You might think to yourself, “Well, my job and education allow me to stay afloat so I disagree!” While that may be true, you won’t be able to put your best efforts towards those things if you’re high strung and burnt out from overworking all the time. There is a reason why humans get depressed if we don’t get any sleep or have any fun. We’re not machines, we’re sentient beings with social and creative needs and there’s no shame in that.
There are some people think that if you are not constantly busy, it says something about what little purpose you have. Folks, being busy all the time doesn’t add anything to your purpose or value if it leaves you barely functioning by the end of the day. Self-care isn’t a crime, it’s a necessity! This is especially true when it comes to us college students. This way, instead of dreading life, you can look forward to the well-planned day ahead of you. Now isn’t that nice?