As a student, managing priorities can mean the difference between having some time to yourself at the end of the day or facing a mountain-size to-do list by the end of the week. These time management tips will help you find time for good grades, great friends and even some much-needed R&R.
Tip #1: It all starts the night before.
How you feel tomorrow comes down to what you do today—so log off IM and get to bed early. But before you cash in for the night, make a list of everything you need to do the next day. When you wake up in the morning, eat a balanced breakfast (like oatmeal and juice; not donuts and soda) as you review your list and plan your day.
Tip #2: There are only 24 hours in the day.
Don’t over commit. Promising to help with the school fundraiser the same day you have a science exam, a soccer game and your little brother’s birthday bash is a recipe for exhaustion. Also, be present in what you are doing. If you set aside one hour to memorize formulas for tomorrow’s algebra quiz, don’t text message and surf the web during that time. One focused hour of studying can be the best formula of all—the kind that adds up to an “A.”
Tip #3: Tomorrow will fill up quicker than you think.
If you can get something done today, do it. Tomorrow there will be other distractions, so if you’re faced with the choice of watching that episode of The Hills—again—or studying for a test, go with studying, even if your test is two days away.
Tip #4: Think ahead—way ahead.
Life is made up of small choices, so think about what you can do today to reach your ultimate goals. Want to attend an Ivy League school? Sign up for an extracurricular activity or two, which will look great on your college application. Thinking about starting your own business after graduation? Start getting experience now by interning or working part-time at a company in the field you’re interested in.
Tip #5: “N-o” is ok.
Your boss offers you an extra shift, the art club needs your help painting banners and all your friends are catching a movie after school. If you feel overwhelmed, check in with your priorities—there’s only one of you, and stretching yourself too thin can lead to burnout. It’s okay to say, “Sorry, I’m busy.”
What time management tricks do you use?