Work Smarter, Not Harder: How to Effectively Manage Your Time

(Part 4 of 4)

As our back to school series, and summer, come to an end, we want to wrap up with spending our time more effectively. This coincides with our previous blogs about managing stress and being punctual, as well as fitting perfectly into our last post about going back to school. It can be tough when you go back to school, or start a new routine, to keep up on daily tasks as well as new tasks. So here are a few tips for any new or existing routine to manage your time more effectively.

 

 

1.) Get a calendar, planner, or schedule that you will look at daily. Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software. Google calendar is great because you can sync it to your mobile phone and other devise you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Having a calendar at your desk is also a great idea for reminders of appointments and deadlines.

 

2.) Organize where you spend most of your time doing work. This way you do not waste time looking for an important paper under stacks of clutter.

 

 

3.) Know your deadlines. Get a calendar together with all of your deadlines on it. Weather it is a big work project, or an exam/paper due in class, write it down on the date it’s due. This way you know exactly when it’s due and how much time you have to work on the task at hand.

 

 

4.) Be early. When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late, or what we like to say… fashionably late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time, as well as looking well prepared to everyone else. For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required. You will seem more organized and punctual, which others will notice!

 

5.) Look at your appointments and tasks for the next day, the night before. Just incase you forgot about something or thought you had more time in between tasks, you will know everything the night before.

 

 

6.) Prioritize. You can’t do everything! Learn to prioritize the important things and let go of the rest. Apply the 80/20 rule to organizing your time as well as your diet! A good rule of thumb for prioritizing is in the model below:

 

 

7.) This can be a hard one for some… Block out distractions! When working on a big project with a deadline that’s creeping up, or trying to study- put your phone on do not disturb, block out twitter/facebook/other social media websites, and turn off the TV. Fewer distractions mean less wasted time.

 

 

8.) Avoid overload. School and work can be tough. It can be so easy to fall off the bandwagon. Eat right, get sleep, and exercise to reduce stress and keep you healthy. A healthy body is a more efficient body.

 

 

9.) Find what works for you. Find if a phone calendar, wall calendar, or a portable schedule works best for you. You will find this through trial and error, once you find what works for you- run with it! And remember, what works for someone else may not work for you.

 

 

10.) Be flexible. Not everything goes according to plan no matter how organized you are. Have back up plans set in place for unexpected sick days, flat tires, internet troubles, printer failures, etc. AAA and 24 hours Kinkos can be your best friend in situations that go wrong at the last minute.

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