Manage your time, don’t let time manage you

This may be something many of you reading this would already know, but it has suddenly dawned on me how much we have to manage nowadays.

Just as students we have to deal with lectures, assignments, dissertations, readings, revision,  exams, hobbies, clubs, payed work, work experience, chores, social lives, relationships the list goes on. I’m not asking for sympathy- I have chosen to take on all these things to (hopefully) aid my objectives and future life aims. And I am not asking for an outraged statement from a working adult  looking after a family telling me to “wait until I get out into the real world.” I know life is going to get busier and more chaotic but if I can learn to manage my time and my projects now, I can prepare myself so that maybe the “real world” won’t seem quite so shocking!

And with technology these days, we are constantly being bombarded with emails, Facebook notifications, texts and phonecalls- it can see like we are being constantly attacked by things we have to do.

I like to think I am quite an organised person- for a student. And so I want to share my organisational skills to help other people learn to manage their time, instead of having time shortages, deadlines and ticking time bombs taking  over your life.

1. Have a Calendar- be it a trusty diary or an application on your phone and put any important dates on it- deadlines, classes, meetings, interviews and plans  with your friends. This way you can work out how long you have to deal the most important pieces of work and still take time out to de-stress and relax.

2. Make lists- my family always make fun of me for the lists and numerous post-it notes I have stuck around my room. But when I write things down I remember to do them. If I have a lot of things to do at once, I write lists and prioritise the items that need doing first. I try and get everything done on the list but because I managed my time in the calendar and prioritised the items on the list, if there  doesn’t happen to be time to finish one piece of work- it will be top of the list the next day.

3. Fake Deadlines-  when there are deadlines I sometimes  (its not always possible)  but I sometimes tell myself the deadlines are a couple of days earlier than they really are. This way you can have the extra days for printing mis-haps and proof-reading or just for relaxing and making yourself feel good.

4. Give yourself a ‘regular’ day- By this I mean if it is possible, try to get up and go to bed at roughly the same time during the week. Even if your classes or meetings change time, manage the rest of your daily tasks around these and then, unless you have lots to do for one fast-approaching deadline, go to sleep at the same time. You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve!

5. Have some ‘me time’- If you manage your time, there is no reason as to why  you can’t have a few evenings off to see your friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, family and so on. It is important to have time off to relax and calm down, otherwise you can get worked up and too much stress can impair your judgement on decisions.

Hopefully this helps a few people to manage their time, I know some people work better closer to deadlines and prefer to pull all-nighters and then sleep the next day. But if like me, you panic as soon as any tasks are set go through these steps and hints to manage your time and everything will be alright.

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