Time Management Tips

As students, whether that be in college, law school, or another grad school, we all feel crunched for time. How are we supposed to balance a full course load, participate in organizations, work a part-time job, have a social life, and take care of our health (mental and physical) all at the same time?! At times, it may seem impossible, but it is not. Here are some tips to better manage your time and keep your sanity all at once:

Get a Planner: If you aren't using a planner, I HIGHLY recommend one. There are tons of different brands, layouts, and planners out there, so everyone can find a planner that fits their lifestyle. If you still haven't found a planner that fits your life, check out Agendio: this website lets you personalize almost every aspect of the planner- from the size to the layout to the font to the color.

Make a To Do List:  I keep my to do list in my planner, so I can easily see all of my appointments and classes for the day, as well as anything else I may need to get done. Having everything I need to do in one place helps me make sure that I have not forgotten anything.

Prioritize: Sometimes, making a to do list isn't enough, so I make a smaller list of things that absolutely have to be done that day. I use the Stickies app on my laptop to manage my "Priorities List" because I have the flexibility to move things higher and lower on my list depending on when they need to be done by.

Write it Down: If you are thinking about something you have to do or somewhere you need to go, jot it down or make a note of it on your phone. Studies show that you are more likely to remember something if you write it down. Leaving a note, whether electronic or in paper, will be a physical reminder of what you need to do or of an appointment you have.

Plan Out Your Day: On really, really busy days, I will plan out my entire day (in pencil because things change!) including the time I wake up, how long I will spend getting ready, when I will eat dinner and how long for, etc. I do this for two reasons: (1) By planning out what I will do that day, I am forced to prioritize my time, and (2) I usually find that I have more time in a day than I originally thought I did, and this eases some of my stress.

Be Flexible: Things change. Classes get cancelled, deadlines are moved (up or back), and meetings pop up. No matter how hard we try, we cannot totally plan out our days or lives. Be prepared for changes and roll with them! If a class gets cancelled, try to use that hour to complete another homework assignment or to get something else done.

Make Time for Yourself: Taking time for yourself is so important as it allows you to recharge and refocus yourself. I am more productive when I make time for myself because I refocus my energy, and I am more motivated to get things done afterward.

I hope these tips help you manage your time a little better! What other tricks do you use to stay organized and on top of everything? Leave your suggestions in the comments.


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