Written by Emily Pross, Marketing and Communications student
It’s finally fall, and that means the start of a fresh new semester! Your time management skills might be a little rusty after the summer, unless you took summer classes. In that case, kudos to you for your dedication and determination! Whether you took a semester off or continued your education through the summer, here are some tips and tricks that I use to practice good time management. Hopefully you may find them useful!
Make a daily list of what you plan to get done
Before I go to bed every night, I make a daily list of what I plan to do when I wake up the next day. I do this before I go to bed because I feel that it gives me peace of mind that I won’t forget anything when I wake up the next day.
Having a physical list makes me feel more inclined to get the things done, rather than if thoughts were just floating around in mind. Plus, crossing stuff off of a physical list just feels so satisfying! For me, it’s also fulfilling and motivating. If you’re one of those people that find great pleasure in crossing days off in your calendar after they pass, then you should try this tip because it gives the same feeling.
Get the little tasks done first
If possible, I would recommend knocking out the smaller tasks. Getting the little items done first could be a great way to build up your momentum to tackle the bigger tasks once they come up. For me, I know I need a little motivation to do things throughout the day done, especially the bigger tasks. The only way for me to build up that motivation is to get other things done first. That’s why I recommend getting the little things out of the way, because you need momentum and motivation to keep trudging along. If you find that you don’t need much motivation, doing the little tasks first is also a great way to warm up the mind and reduce a little stress.
Don’t work in front of a TV or next to a smart phone
TV’s and Smart Phones are a distraction. Working in front of a TV or next to a smart phone can drastically extend the completion time of your school work, or whatever else you’re working on. So try to work away from those things so you can put all of your attention into the task at hand and not have any distractions. However, a smart phone can be useful because it could be a quick way to look up a word or do quick research. If you like to use your smart phone as a quick research tool, turn off your notifications, including sound and vibrate because it can very easily steal your attention and ruin your focus.
Take advantage of any downtime you have to get stuff done
Riding a train or bus on your commute to work or school? Use that time to get something done. If you’re an online student and have small assignments, such as a weekly discussion board posting, a train or bus ride is the perfect time to get a head start on completing them. You can access Berkeley’s Blackboard from your smart phone and post threads to the discussion or reply to fellow student.
If you’re not an online student, the time you spend on the bus or train is also a great time to catch up on studying for that test. You can even use that time to start researching topics and sources for a research paper or beginning a first draft.
If you don’t commute on a bus or train but spend a lot of time exercising in the gym on machines like the elliptical, stationary bike, or tread mill, why not use that time to get in some blackboard discussions, research, or additional studying?
Look for other creative ways to save and manage your time. That way, you can find what works best for you, and your school work will improve!