Rich or poor, young or old, every human has the same amount of available time 24 hours per day. Different people, however, accomplish different amounts of useful activities during this limited time.
What makes the difference between and ultra-producer and an under-producer?
The answer is simple: time management.
Learning how to effectively manage your time will help you accomplish more, enjoy more, and stress less. In fact, properly using your time will take you far down the road to academic success!
If you want to do more in less time, apply these tips to your own life.
#1 Plan Ahead
Each night, before you go to bed, think over your goals and priorities and determine your schedule for the next day.
By planning ahead, you stop yourself from wasting time wondering what to do, and you also save yourself from the trap of devoting too much time to a low-priority project.
#2 Early To Rise
As Benjamin Franklin rightly stated, Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
By taking advantage of the early morning hours, you can accomplish quite a bit before most others even wake up!
Getting this early start will help you stay disciplined and motivated throughout the day.
#3 Set Priorities
Instead of attacking your tasks in random order, set priorities.
This will keep you from wasting time on unnecessary tasks and from accidentally leaving a critical project uncompleted.
For example, my bicycle could use a good washing, but, when I set my priorities yesterday, I realize that I should be spending my time on writing this article instead. My bicycle can be washed another day, but this article needs to be published today.
#4 Establish Routines
If you complete your tasks in different orders every day, you will waste precious time trying to remember what to do next. If you, instead, establish a routine, you can increase your efficiency and have more available time.
#5 Use a Daily To-Do List
This is an idea that I have been personally practicing for the last couple of months. Rather than simply trying to remember what I need to accomplish, I write it down in a small notebook.
This keeps me focused during the day and helps me to evaluate my progress at night.
#6 Minimize Downtime
Rather than wasting the time spent standing in lines and waiting at the doctors, try to find ways to use that time.
For instance, you can take a book with you to the doctors office and read while you are waiting. If you forget to bring something, you can always plan your schedule in your head or talk with someone.
The key is to find something productive to do rather than simply watching time pass.
#7 Take Breaks
Although it may seem counter-productive, taking breaks can actually help you accomplish more.
For instance, a student studying for two hours straight will accomplish some, but a student who breaks that time into twenty-five minute intervals with exercise breaks between will likely learn much more.
Taking short breaks can help clear your mind and prepare it for more information.
#8 Minimize Distractions
The modern college student is assailed on all sides: email, cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter all call for your attention and distract from the project at hand.
One of the most important steps to effectively using your time is to remove these distractions. Only complete these activities at regularly scheduled times (remember tip #4) and unplug for the rest of the day. Although you will not see your new emails instantly, you will be much more productive.
By applying these tips to your life, you can make the most of your available time. Your time is valuable: use it with care!
What is your favorite time management tip?