When there are countless obligations, assignments, and activities consuming your time, it can be incredibly challenging to stay organized. Fortunately, you can develop the skills you need to utilize your time well through intentional practice and self-discipline. Although time management is far from simple and there’s certainly no foolproof formula for success, there are a few strategies that will help your busy schedule to appear slightly less intimidating.
1. Write tasks down.
The merit of to-do lists is scientifically proven. Categorize tasks in order of importance and by due date. You’ll walk away with a clearer understanding of what you need to do and when you need to do it. The real challenge is finding the time to write that to-do list in the first place.
2. Schedule more time than you think you’ll need.
Life tends to interfere with even the best intentions. Before you know it, something unexpected will interrupt your schedule or a project will last longer than anticipated. Suddenly, the hour you had planned to finish that paper has long passed and the paper is far from complete. Schedule extra time to accomplish a task so that when life surprises you, you’re prepared.
3. Set aside distractions.
To truly utilize your time, steer clear of the countless distractions clamoring for attention. Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your phone rather than simply putting it on vibrate. You know you’ll be dying to check your phone the moment it buzzes. Avoid the temptation and turn it off. Then settle in to work.
4. Take an occasional break.
If you notice your eyes glazing over from staring at your computer screen too long, don’t be afraid to take a 10 or 15-minute break. Grab a snack, walk to the nearest park, or close your eyes for a couple moments. You’ll be more productive in the long run if you allow yourself to breathe in the middle of your hard-work marathon.
5. Remind yourself why.
Sometimes you need to remind yourself why you’re putting in so much effort. Establish your goals and clarify how managing your time effectively will help you achieve those goals. Remember the incentives, and you’ll discover additional motivation to begin that next assignment.
You can visit Bethel’s Academic Enrichment and Support Center for more study tips.