Between juggling a full time job, a long commute and familydemands, a conflict of priorities is always a struggle. Now, you want to throw studying into the mix. But without a magical time turner like Hermione’s, how do you get everything done?
Don’t worry, there’s a real-life alternative solution: time management. Managing your time effectively makes you more productive; not only can you finally focus on your priority tasks, but you can also get more done and improve your results. Furthermore, not only does it make you an achiever at school, but it is also a useful career skill.
As with most things, good time management is easier said than done: it requires strong self-discipline. However, practice makes perfect – once you make it a habit, it becomes almost second nature.
So, what are the core tenets of time management?
- Create a planning system. There’s only so much that you can keep in your memory, and putting it down on paper (or electronically) will help you map out what needs to be done. Get a loose-leaf diary or notebook and jot down your tasks, prioritize them, and the track their progress. Also, keeping a time log at the start will help you understand how you’ve been allocating your time.
- Consistently update your plan. Take five minutes out of your day (or even every few days, depending on what you need to do) and check off what you’ve accomplished. Routinizing it by doing it at a regular time helps.
- Just because some things can’t be planned doesn’t mean that they can’t be managed. Plan for non-reactive time, and be sure to use it effectively.
- Follow the plan!
But alas, beware of procrastination, time management’s enemy. Some classic time wasters to keep your eye out for:
- Putting off tasks that you dislike or find difficult. The sooner you get them done, the sooner you can move on to things that you enjoy. That being said, make sure to do them properly the first time so that you don’t have to go back to do them again.
- Spending too much time on things that you enjoy but don’t bring you any closer to achieving your goals. While it’s good to take breaks, make sure to keep your eyes on the prize.
It can be tough to get organized at first. But learn to manage your time, and you’ll see a boost in your productivity and results. Time may not stop for anyone – but it sure can be managed.