Because time management is difficult.
By: Hannah Straub
Time management is hard, especially in college. We often find ourselves pushing off to-do’s, rescheduling tasks and finding reasons why we don’t have the time, space, or energy to complete what’s lingering over our heads.
We dance around this never-ending list, already knowing that if we were to just slow down, take each task as it comes, anchor down and just finish, we would knock it out of the park. But this is not usually how it goes.
Time management requires a whole lot of self-discipline.
Behind every load of homework and extracurricular responsibilities, you can find a person required to do it all. And that person is you. Believe it or not, you are made up of a million lovely pieces and we need to make sure that you are prioritizing yourself before anything else. This is the only way to perform to the best of your ability and impact others’ lives in the best way possible.
This can be insanely difficult to accomplish, and we all know we can’t achieve perfection. So instead of setting the bar too high, I have a list of 6 steps to follow to help you kick-start this “girl boss” mentality.
1. Do Your Chores and Errands First
The last thing you want to worry about during a crazy busy week is your laundry, dishes, or groceries. Ever since I was in high school, I would use Sundays as my “get your s**t together” day, in which I would do all the necessary things needed to feel on top of my to-do list.
Sunday’s for me have always been more chill, so I’ve dedicated this day to necessities. This included doing my laundry, cleaning my room, shopping for my groceries, and organizing my space so that I would be all charged up to take on the week. I also will do a face and hair mask, shave my legs, paint my nails, and whiten my teeth – for a full upkeep. This is how I incorporate a little bit of me time before my crazy week starts. By the end of the day, my space is clean, I feel refreshed, and I’m ready to kick the next week in the butt.
2. Plan Out Your Week
On Sunday’s I also like to plan out my week. This is imperative because it is the only time I can (try) to balance my scattered brain. I carry a day planner as well as a regular notebook, so I have several places to plan my classes and events.
I WORSHIP my Passion Planner, because it has time blocks for every day to make sure that you know exactly how much time you have in between events and classes to get things done, or even to relax. It includes a yearly road-map at the beginning of the planner that can help you to map out some goals for the year and provides yearly check-in pages to help you stay on track.
Sometimes I even schedule an amount of time at the end of the night to just be zen, or binge some Netflix, or call my mom. It helps make my more strenuous tasks seem a little less daunting. And if I know I get to talk to someone I love at the end of the night, it will help me complete my homework just a little faster.
3. Take Breaks
I’ve discovered that procrastination is one of the worst things you can do, especially in college.
Assignments can pile up quick. If you know the assignments you need to compete, break up your work into smaller pieces. I like to plan how much I want to do each day, and then I break that time frame up into a work period and a break period. If I want to work for a couple hours, I tell myself that I will work for 45 minutes with a 15-minute break in between.
During your breaks, you could do anything. I’ve listened to music, hung out with other friends in my dorm, taken a walk, called my boyfriend, or watched YouTube videos. By not taking on everything at once, you will relieve a lot of stress and get much more done than you thought.
4. Work Hard, Play Harder – But No Means No!
Since high school, I have never been able to have fun and be present unless I have everything done, and done well. I’ve never been able to understand how people put off their work until the very last minute to either go out or hang out with their friends. Although I know that most students would do anything other than sit in their dorms and do homework all night, sometimes we need to. Even if it’s on a beloved Friday or Saturday night.
I’ve always dedicated my weeknights to work and the weekend nights for play. But there has to be a balance, because there will always be another time to have fun, and it is ALWAYS WORTH THE GOOD GRADE. I cannot stress this enough, because I have witnessed first-hand friends who will not be able to participate in school traditions or events because their GPA is so low. I find that I have an even better weekend when I feel productive and I know that I don’t have anything looming over my head.
5. Above All Else, Stay Healthy
My most important tip is to prioritize YOURSELF over everything. This includes your physical, mental, and spiritual health. You know when you need a break, and your body is worth listening to. If you need to take a day off to either catch up on sleep, see a counselor, or to even go home for the weekend, do it! It is okay to say no, whether it is due to academics or even your physical or mental health.
We rarely get alone time in college and even extroverts like myself, need time to recharge or even just to be in your space. Your friends will understand, and if they don’t, you probably will be better off not being with them anyways. You are a student first, and if you are unwell in any way, you won’t be able to reach your full academic potential.
6. Keep a sticky note for a reminder
Whenever I’ve gone through a rough patch, whatever the reason, I always keep a sticky note on my mirror with these four rules to live by:
- Eat clean- Eating protein, fruits, and vegetables will not only keep you energized, but it will also improve your mood.
- Try (key word: try!) to get 8 hours of sleep per night. I understand this is almost impossible, especially living in a dorm with a roommate, but your body needs to rest. I’ve even scheduled naps into my day to make sure I’m getting those hours. And if noise is a problem, invest in some earplugs. They are a God-send!
- Drink more water than you do coffee. (This is hard for me.)
- Move your body daily- even if it is walking a longer route to class or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
At the end of the day, you have to want to put yourself first. No one can tell you to do these things, but you. I hope that my tips can help you in some way and that with them you are that much closer to the person that you are striving to be: inside and out.Putting yourself first is not selfish, but necessary. Remember this.Click To Tweet
All the sunshine and smiles,
How do you do time management in college? Comment your tips below!
Hannah Straub is a college student, who loves to write, empower other women, and watch beauty YouTube videos. You can find her on her Instagram.