For many of us, time seems to be beyond our control. Hours and days slip away while we try to meet deadlines and complete tasks. Those who do manage to get everything done on time without rushing seem super-organized and somehow different. But in reality, anyone can become a better time manager with a few changes and some discipline.
Time spent looking for supplies is wasted time. Make better use of study time by making sure that you have a neat place to work with materials that are in good shape. Make a note of anything that you need for next time, such as more paper, pens that work, etc., and bring them with you before your next study time.
Once your study/work area is neat and organized, there are a few things that can be done to make time more manageable. The actual design will vary from person to person based on needs and personal priorities. However, the items in this list are often useful and be be utilized by almost anyone.
The number and type of calendars that you use will vary depending on your needs. Some people prefer a large calendar that can be used to record all events: school-related, personal, and professional. Others like to keep different kinds of information on separate calendars. For example, it might be helpful to keep all work events on a separate calendar if this would not impact other areas. PDAs and Cell phones include calendars, and since many people always have their phones with them, this may be an answer. Whatever system you adopt, make sure it works for you. Also, if you don’t consult your calendar regularly, the system won’t work!
Recording monthly activities helps you to see the big picture of your responsibilities for the month. In addition to test dates and due dates, you might want to pencil in study and work time.
A weekly planner may be helpful when there are many smaller tasks or events scheduled for a shorter period of time or when you plan each day to make the most of your time.
A realistic, workable schedule takes into account the amount of time necessary to complete necessary tasks. It is better to overestimate the amount of time needed to make sure everything can be finished before deadlines arrive.
Prioritizing is critical for planning your schedule. Responsibilities in many areas (school, family, work, etc.) may conflict, making it necessary for us to make hard choices. When faced with a difficult choice, it may help to think about which choice will have the most long-term impact.
Decide which tasks must be completed and address them first.
Making to-do lists makes it easy to know at a glance what must be done on a given day. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to look at your list!