Dear Brenda Bluejay,
What are your tips for time management? I’m a sophomore and I’ve been getting really overwhelmed with my sorority, school and other time commitments. It just seems there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Please help!
-Time Management Troubles
Hi Time Management Troubles,
You’re not alone. Time management is probably the hardest challenge of today’s Creighton student. However, with a little bit of planning and awareness, time management can become easier. After doing it for a few years from Creighton, I’ve definitely learned a few dos and don’ts. Here they are!
Do: Get a planner. I used to be against having a planner; it seemed like a waste of time and I would actually never use it. Then, I discovered the beauty of Google Calendars. I am always on my laptop anyway, so it’s easy enough to keep my Google Calendar tab open all day. I will put in all my classes at the beginning of the semester (you can just put them in once and set it to repeat) and put any big assignments, projects and tests in there with reminders so you know when they are coming. While it takes some time to set up, it is a lifesaver in keeping your life organized and being able to visualize your week and time commitments. I also use an Erin Condren planner for more day to day time management. While they are a little pricy, you get to customize your layout based on what you need it for. Once I got a planner that I liked and suited my needs, I’m not sure how I ever got by without it!
Don’t: Split your attention between multiple tasks. It can be easy to pull out your book for lit, Twitter and have Hulu on in the background... it may even seem like you are saving time! Studies show that multitasking actually decreases your efficiency and can even lower your IQ! Stick with one thing, zoom throug hit and move on the next. Your grades and IQ will thank you later!
Do: Prioritze your tasks. If you use a planner, this will become even easier. When I’m overwhelmed, I always start by making a to do list for myself. I will then decide what is the most urgent things and number them. This will ensure you stay on top of deadlines and can even help you not procrastinate those midterm tests on the horizon. Plus, there’s no greater satisfaction than crossing off assignments on your to-do list!
Don’t: Be too hard on yourself. The truth is that you will never get everything done in time or perfectly. Sometimes you may have to sacrifice some things here and there. Just do your best and don’t get discouraged when things don’t work out perfectly. It happens to everyone!
Do: Take time for yourself. It may seem counterintuitive to “waste” time by doing self-care, but the more frazzled you are, the less focused and productive you will be at the tasks at hand. Sometimes it is helpful to take a break, squeeze in an episode on Hulu and then get back to work!
Time management is not easy. Even as an upperclassmen, I struggle everyday to stay on the grind 24/7. Remember you are capable of so much and can accomplish anything you set your mind to!