Actually, it does not have to be so.
With proper time management, getting through all those academic and extra-curricular work is a breeze, and will also leave you with extra time to spend! As an added advantage, learning to master these skills will benefit you throughout your life, and will also be an asset to when you start working after you graduate.
1 – Purchase a calendar
With the invention of smartphones, you’re no longer limited to the typical calendar. But the key point here is to have a calendar and stick to it. The bigger your calendar, the better. The more you can write in it, the more important it will be. Have a calendar that can serve as your daily planner and make sure you stick to it.
2 – Write down EVERYTHING.
All the important dates, deadlines, etc. Write all these down first in the calendar, preferably in red, so you are aware on what your future will look like. If you are using an electronic calendar, you might want to start putting an alarm on certain days that will remind you of what you need to look out for several days prior.
3 – Write down all the things you need to do.
Forget about the deadlines. Now, make a list of all that you need to do. It doesn’t have to be important. You can break it down into academic work, things you want to do with your friends, things you want to do to enjoy and have fun, and many more. If you feel like you need to allocate your time to do things, then write it down!
4 – Break down your work into little, manageable duties.
For large projects that might take hours or days to complete, break it down into little, manageable duties. Maybe you’ll want to colour-code this, so you know it falls under one big task.
5 – Start organising! Look at your deadlines.
Which jobs on the list need finishing first? Start to organise this accordingly into separate days, making sure you keep in mind your daily class and sports schedule as well. If you need to catch up with many deadlines, maybe the first few days will seem a little heavy and cluttered. But the longer you practice this system, the easier it will get. Randy Pausch, a late professor from Carnegie Mellon, has shown a simple way to know which to prioritise:
Using this tool, it will be much easier for you to prioritise which is more important – Number 1, 2, then 3 and 4!
6 – Follow the schedule!
There is very little point in organising a schedule if you are not going to follow it. So take the time to follow through, day by day, and after a few days and weeks, you will find that you now have plenty of time to spend socialising while still keeping all your work in check!
Do you have any other time management tips? Share them with us!