Time management may come easy to some, but for many others, it can be extremely challenging, especially if you have a hectic schedule at work, school, and maybe even at home. But that’s life! Managing your time wisely will help you avoid procrastination and allow you to have time to devote to other things that are equally, if not more important to you. These 5 tips helped me through grad school while juggling a full-time job and I’m sure it will help you too!
Set your Goals
At the start of your week, it’s important to assess what it is you plan to accomplish. Review deadlines that may need to be met in order to stay on track. Then begin to write down your goals and the steps that will be taken to achieve them. Always write down your goals as it has been proven to increase the likelihood of achieving them. In fact, people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t. Not only do you need to write down your goals, but you also need to break your goals down day-by-day or even hour-by-hour.
Always prioritize your tasks prior to creating a to-do list. It will help you determine how much time you need to allocate to a certain task in order to complete your goals in a timely manner. Use the A,B,C method of prioritizing:
A – Vital: The vital items are set at the highest importance as there may be consequences for not completing these items by the set deadline.
B-Important: Important tasks are also important but less urgent than vital tasks. Be sure to complete these tasks as soon as possible, however, if they aren’t completed within a day or two, the consequences will not be severe. Working on the B tasks each day still allows you to maintain productivity.
C – Optional: These tasks could be defined as “nice to haves” because they are goals that have no set deadline and are flexible.
Make a “To-Do” List
A “to-do” list is such an important tool, especially when it comes to staying on track. It serves as a daily reminder and helps maintain organization. Another benefit of a to-do list is that even during your busiest days, creating a to-do list will make all of your tasks more manageable. It’s best to tackle the most important or the most difficult tasks first, especially if the deadline may be approaching quickly. The most rewarding feeling is crossing off items on your to-do list. It’ll help you feel more motivated and in control of your goals.
Take Action…But Don’t Overdo It
Work smart, not hard. Try not to overexert your efforts in completing your goals otherwise you’ll be burnt out and discouraged. Setting small, consistent actionable goals will help keep you on track without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Taking action day-by-day and little-by-little will lead to the overall goal being accomplished.
The most important step in time management is staying consistent. Set daily habits that are healthy and will increase your productivity and organization. You may encounter some setbacks; we aren’t always perfect but do not let it discourage you. Continue to plan your goals on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to ensure that you achieve all of your accomplishments. Always remember: “It’s not about how much time you have. It’s about how effectively you manage your time.” -R.L. Adams