Do you feel that you are typically behind the eight ball? Are you always trying to catch up on things and never really feel that you are ahead of the game? Are you someone who is usually late to things and never early?
If you could relate to any of those questions, then you are like most college students. With exams, classes, work, family, friends, and just about everything else taking up your time, you may feel that there isn’t enough hours in the day for you to get everything accomplished. Here is an unfortunate news flash for you, things won’t get any easier as life goes on.
So what you need to do is learn how you can deal with time constraints in a more effective way. You are not alone, so try out these tips to maximize your productivity whether you are at school, work, or at home.
1. Map out your goals and prioritize them
Take a few minutes in the morning and figure out what your goals for the day are. If this isn’t something that you typically do already, try and make at least one goal each day. Goals are the map that you will need to follow in order to have effective time management.
To start, you will need one goal for every major area of your life. One for work, one for school, one for your health, etc. The more specific you are in this area, the easier your day/life will become. Once you get really good at this habit, you will be able to make monthly, semester, and annual goals for yourself.
Another tip is to set reminders in your calendar for your goals. “Check in” on yourself by reminding yourself where you should be by noon or 4 PM.
2. List out your time wasters
Once you have your goals listed out it is time to figure out what you spend your day wasting time on. Create a list and post it above your desk and as a new “time-waster” comes up, make sure that you add it to the list. The more aware that you are of these, the better your chances are of eliminating them from your day, or at least minimizing them.
These could be browsing Facebook when you should be reading chapter three, or watching cat videos when you should be reviewing your notes for tomorrow’s exam.
3. Hide or uninstall social media apps
Speaking of Facebook, did you know that the average person spends more than three hours on social media sites every day? That is about 25% of the time that you spend awake!
Eliminating them from auto updates and having them out of site on your bookmark bar won’t put them out of reach completely, but will make getting to them tougher. This may prevent you from feeling the need to constantly check for updates, when honestly there is nothing new that can’t wait.
4. Stop trying to multitask
There are multiple studies out there that prove multitasking is not possible. Check out this NPR story proving this. What we do instead is juggle the tasks back and forth giving us the illusion that we are.
The efficiency that you think is there, honestly is not. What happens is your work suffers. Since you won’t be putting 100% effort into one task before moving to the next, your work will not be your best.
As a matter of fact, you could end up becoming less productive because of the time it will take your brain to catch up to your new task.
5. Make use of your “dead time”
Think back about the last time that you had to go to the doctors office. What did you do while you were waiting to see them? What about your commute on the train this morning?
If your response was staring out the window looking at all the pretty buildings, you are wasting time. This could be time used to review your notes before class, or brainstorm ideas for the project that you are working on.
This time could be used for something as simple as stress-relieving breathing techniques. No matter what you do, just make sure that it is productive.
Have you gone mobile? If these tips seem a little too old school for you, why not try these 10 apps to help boost your productivity.
Are you already feeling more productive? Let me know how these tips worked for you and share these with your friends who are struggling just like you.
Even though the semester just started are you looking to build up your GPA? Try my Save My GPA Course today!