Not Enough Time? Take 5 Steps Towards Better Time Management

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People tend to associate busy with stressful. However, busy is also beautiful because it means that a person has found multiple hobbies and people and causes to be passionate about – to the point that they want to make time for all of them.

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person,” – and although I hate clichés, this statement holds a lot of truth. Busy people are busy because they know how to prioritize and manage these multiple priorities.

From getting As on your essays to working your way up at work to staying in shape and maintaining friendships – it’s easy to overload your plate. Plus, you’ve still got to sleep and eat and find time to pick up the phone and call grandma. How can you succeed at both work and play without compromising the quality of your work (and without giving anything up)?

Be realistic

You can’t do everything – but you can do a lot.

You just need to take a good hard look at where your time is going (and where it should be going). If you’re thinking of taking a 6am kickboxing class before work, look at what you’re doing around 10pm each night. Are you wasting an hour scrolling through Facebook? If so, cut that – and head to bed early so you can tack this class onto your list.

If you’re using your evening to get readings done, perhaps this isn’t something you can cut – meaning the kickboxing class might have to take a backseat for the time being.

Love what you’re doing

We all have to do things we don’t want to do (aka every first year Psych assignment that was ever invented) – but surround these things with things you love doing.

Find classes you enjoy.

Surround yourself with people you genuinely care about.

Find passion in your work.

To put it simply, if you look forward to your life every day, your “busy” will get a lot less stressful.

Stay organized

Buy a day planner.

Use this day planner to write down all your appointments, coffee dates, essay deadlines, etc.

On Sunday nights open said planner to see where you need to allocate your energy for the coming week, and then plan your free time.

If you have class Monday morning and evening but the afternoon is wide open, do you have assignments you need to finish? Apartments you need to hunt for? Grocery shopping you need to do? Or could you meet a friend for lunch and save the groceries until Tuesday?

Figure out what fits where – and stick to it.

Something that’s worked well for me? Making a To-Do list every single morning. If you list out what you want to get done and cross it off as you go – it’s hard to let anything fall by the wayside.

Gimme a break

Your body (and your brain) need fuel in order to be productive.

So, take the time to top-up. This can be as simple as drinking lots of water, or taking coffee breaks to get outside for a minute and feel those golden rays. Or, buckle down even more and try things like turning your phone on silent and checking it every few hours instead of constantly glancing over and getting lost in distraction.

Knowing you have a break (and some caffeine) in your future makes your work time that much more productive – meaning you get done faster and that final break can last a whooooole lot longer.

Get creative

Call your mom on your walk to work.

Utilize your time on public transit to read the paper or memorize your lines for the school musical.

Sign up for a volleyball team with your friends, combining workout time with social time.

Move your “bedtime” up a half-hour so you have a half-hour allotted for that book you’ve been meaning to read. Find ways to utilize the time you naturally have, and your To Do list just got cut in half.

How do you manage your time effectively? Tell us in the comments!