Mastering Time Management

By: Ashley

Each and every one of us has had that moment where we have had to decide if we are going to study, sleep, or go out with friends. Of course then when you throw work and actually going to class in the mix it seems like there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything you want, am I right? Well I was reading a blog post that Lauren Kirkpatrick, whose posts are as helpful as they are hilarious, on youtern.com  about how time management can essentially be mastered, if done right. In just 5 steps Lauren makes time management seem easy but it does take commitment. The 5 steps listed in her blog post are:

  • Use a calendar
  • Make to do lists
  • Multi-task
  • Overestimate time
  • Plan time to relax

So I know that at least half of all college students use a calendar, and whether that be an electronic one like Google calendar or a planner bought at the school store. But honestly, how many of us actually remember to write in it? I see people with planners that they bought with the best intentions of filling and then when they open them and I see them, there is little to nothing except maybe a few birthdays written in them, and I will be the first to admit that I have done this in the past, especially my freshman year. I do however use one now, and in this day and age using Google calendar and syncing it to your iPhone or smartphone is easier than ever. Every UMD student has a Gmail account through the university which means you have access to your very own Google calendar, you can even color code things and set reminders, exciting right?

Now having a to do list is something that I have always found to be beneficial in getting things done. Having everything you need to do right in front of you can be just the motivation you need to get up and get stuff done. I’ll be the first to admit that I even add things that I have already done just so I can check things off. Lauren says to add things that are as basic as eating lunch, because checking things off makes you feel good, makes you feel productive, and it is those basic things that make multi-tasking easier. I mean if you can eat your PB & J and read your biology textbook at the same time why not kill two birds with one stone.

My favorite of Lauren’s 5 ways to manage time is the overestimating how long it takes to get something done, that way you aren’t interfering with the time you have allotted to other things and when you have extra time to spare to relax and maybe take a mental breather. Lastly, I love the idea of planning time to relax, because then you have to do it! If you are anything like me you can’t rest until you have gotten everything done and if relaxing is one of those things you have to check off you are more likely to it!

So with a little commitment and effort, you too can have it all, sleep, a social life, and the grades. I feel that all of these tips will 100% show results, you will be surprised by how some free time might just magically appear if you plan out what you need to do and then magically get it all done.

Read Ashley’s other posts

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About ellenhatfield

New professional in the field of Student Affairs in Higher Education. I am a Career Counselor at the University of MN Duluth.

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