By Jennah Owda
With being back in person and no longer being online, accomplishing tasks seems harder than ever. As students, we are constantly told that the key to success is learning how to manage time, but we were never taught the steps to take to successfully balance our academics while still having a social life. I was sick of feeling like I was constantly drowning in work with no time to breathe, so after many failures and nights of procrastination, I have gathered some tips that helped me turn my unorganized anxiety-filled schedule into a manageable, healthy life.
Step 1- Unpack All Your Tasks
The first step is simply writing down all the tasks you have to accomplish for the week. At first, this may seem stressful seeing all that you have to do in a limited time, but if you are anything like me, you may forget a couple of tasks and then remember them the day that it is due, which causes unnecessary stress. Within the process of writing everything you need to get done within the week, you can start to prioritize and organize the tasks into groups of most important to least important. By organizing the tasks, you are able to foresee your days and delegate time to complete each task.
Step 2- The Power of Google Calendar
As much as I love the idea of having an aesthetically pleasing planner filled with tasks I can cross off, I know it is not something that I can keep up with consistently. When I am writing the tasks down at the end of a lecture, I tend to be in quite a hurry so I do not miss my next class. When I’m in a rush, my handwriting becomes chicken scratch and illegible, which then becomes useless for me. With Google Calendar, you do not have to worry about your handwriting, and you get to automatically assign the task to the day that it is due. You will receive reminders about upcoming tasks so you can always be ahead of your schedule. It also gives you the option to color code and share your schedule with friends or family.
Step 3- The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Sleeping, for many of us, is a stress relief and a way to hide from our tasks, but waking up early can prevent us from constantly playing catch up. By waking up early, you won't be forced to jump out of bed and start working. Instead, you will be able to take your time with your skincare routine, pick out an outfit that will make you feel good, and eat a good breakfast. It is important that you are not feeling like you are working nonstop, and waking up early can prevent that feeling.
Step 4- Multitasking Is Not a Flex
Before learning how to manage my time, I was trapped in a cycle full of multitasking. While working on math homework, I suddenly remembered that I had a paper that was due and switched to working on that task. This led to me turning in average work and never completing things because my mind was constantly racing. It is important to focus on one task at a time to ensure quality work and lessen stress.
Step 5- Treat Yourself
Often as students, when we have downtime, we get this weird sensation of guilt. We constantly feel like there is work to be done even when we have accomplished our tasks for the day. This leads to students crashing by the first semester. Making time for yourself and your social life is the most important step in becoming successful in managing your time. It is okay to want to spend an hour on TikTok or spend the night hanging out with friends. In fact, we need that if we want to stay sane during the school year. Make sure to schedule a time to get your nails done, watch a movie, or eat your favorite food with your friends. Time management is supposed to help your mental health, not make it worse.