It’s the last month of the spring semester and classes are starting to wrap up to a close. For some of us, that means we’re confident that we will survive through the final stretch, but for others, it means that we only have one more month to get our act together. So here’s a little “Time Management 101” if you need it:
Make lists and use a planner.
If you’re like me, then making lists will help you visualize everything that you need to accomplish. It’ll ease your mind when you see that the list isn’t as long as the book of tasks you fabricated in your mind. Make daily to-do lists and take it day by day, accomplishing one task at a time. If you go out and buy a planner (or use the one that you got for Christmas from your aunt but never bothered using), it will actually inspire you to stay organized. Plus, crossing things off your list each day will make you feel super accomplished.
Block out your days, if necessary.
I know that whenever I feel overwhelmed by schoolwork, I just plan out everything, as in, I am that person that literally blocks out every hour, from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. This list includes where I’ll be taking my meals and with who, what homework I’ll be able to tackle during my shift at work, where I’ll be studying at what time, etc. I realize I sound like a control freak, but it honestly does work. After a day of being hyper-productive, I feel infinitely better and don’t need to block out my time anymore.
Listen to your body.
You know yourself better than you think. Some people can’t do homework unless they go for a run first, so if you’re one of those people, get that done. Or, if it’s been physically painful to keep your eyes open in class all day, go home and nap for an hour or two first, and afterward get started on your workload. You may feel like you’re wasting time by sleeping, but I promise you that you’re not. Napping helps you rejuvenate yourself so that, instead of dragging on and forcing yourself to do sub-par work, you legitimately feel energized and that actually makes you more efficient. Or if you know you have to write an essay but are experiencing writer’s block while also subconsciously feeling like you should call your mom before she goes to sleep for the night, then call your mom first. Tackling that will erase the burden in the back of your mind, and who knows, maybe she’ll even inspire you to write something amazing.
Strike a balance.
Studying and doing all those homework assignments is hard work, so make sure that you’re eating, and I mean real food, not just drinking your calories in your coffee and energy drinks. Eating the right food will provide you with the energy and brainpower to keep going at it, but don’t forget to take a break every so often as well. Your brain can’t handle constant input for eight hours in a row, so if you finished an assignment in an hour when you thought it’d take you two, reward your efforts by texting back your friends or swinging by City Convenience to buy a granola bar. Your body will appreciate the movement, and your eyes will appreciate the brief change of scenery. Also make sure that you’re exercising occasionally, too; a little exercise can go a long way in terms of energy (as in, it will energize you way more in the long run than that venti caramel macchiato with a double shot of espresso). And, last but not least, make time to see your friends, too. Even if it means dragging them to Mugar Memorial Library or wherever your favorite study spot is and making them do homework with you, it still counts as bonding time and they’ll probably thank you for making them get things done, too.