5 Time Management Tips for a Busy Schedule

We all get busy in life and at times the demands of our day-to-day life can become overwhelming. This is why it is so important to manage your time well. But this isn’t always easy. In this article, I will give you some tips to help improve your time management skills!

  1. Use a Planner
    Perhaps the first and most important thing to do when managing your time is to create a plan. After all, it is very hard to organize your time if you don’t know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. The easiest way to create a plan is by simply writing out all the things you have to do in the day and at what time. This visual representation will prevent you from forgetting about projects and commitments. I like to block out my day the night before and make adjustments as the day goes on. This may seem tedious, but it makes the day go a lot smoother! Personally, I use a “legend planner” that breaks down your goals into yearly, 6-month, 3-month, monthly, and weekly targets. The book has a lot of great features that keeps you accountable and I highly recommend it for organizing your life.

  1. Meal Prep
    We all have to eat but sometimes we don’t have enough time to squeeze in all the cooking, cleaning, and eating that is involved with a meal. One tactic that I use to save time throughout the week is meal prepping. Pick a day that you aren’t very busy and cook/prepare the meals for the next week. This way, whenever it comes time to eat, you can grab your packaged meal and go. This is very helpful if you can’t come home for lunch or are just on a time crunch. It may seem like a lot of work at the time, but you will thank yourself later!

  1. Learning to say “No”
    Often, we become very busy because we commit to too many things. I understand this because I am naturally a goal-oriented person and I’m somewhat passive. I don’t like to tell people “no”. However, this is something I am working on and I think it is really good to establish healthy boundaries with people. Unfortunately, knowing that you should say “no” is easier than actually telling people no. So, here are a few ways for you to deal with situations where you feel as if you should tell people “no”.
    • Be honest with them: Of course, this one is hard but many times it is exactly what people need to hear. Explain why you aren’t able to complete a project or attend an event. The person may try to convince you otherwise but at this point you’ve done all you can do and are just left to say “no”.
    • Offer them an alternative: Perhaps someone wants you to do something for them but you are already very busy. You could tell them that instead of doing it right now, you will do it in a week or two. This isn’t being rude to them and you are respecting your own personal boundaries.
    • Be assertive: Unfortunately, there are times when you will need to be firm with people and just tell them “no”. It is important not to be rude here but you want them to understand that you mean it. Don’t offer any excuses or lies. Tell them “no” out of respect for yourself. Your time is extremely important.

  1. Productive Procrastination
    I learned about this tactic from one of my TA’s during my freshman year of college. She was giving a presentation on how to study for finals and I found this tactic very useful. Productive procrastination is when you aren’t feeling very motivated so you decide to procrastinate. She explained that we can be productive while we procrastinate by doing one simple task. Maybe this means folding your laundry while you watch a YouTube video or cooking a meal when you get tired of studying. This allows us to take our minds off of our current task and relax while still completing some smaller tasks. So, next time you notice yourself scrolling on your phone while you should be studying, try to get up and do something small. You’ll be surprised at how useful this is.

  1. Relaxation
    Wait, I thought we were talking about being productive and managing our time?! Well, yes we are. However, if you don’t take the time to relax, you will burn yourself out much quicker. There are different types of stress. There are positive stressors in our lives that are worthwhile and then there are negative stressors that are more damaging. It is alright to have stress in your life. Without it, you might become complacent and stop working as hard. However, we don’t want to have so much stress that it will cause us to be less productive, happy, and healthy. This level of stress will be different for everyone but it is important for you to recognize when you are feeling stressed out and take time out of your day just for yourself. During extra chaotic times, you may have to actually schedule this time out otherwise you will sacrifice it.

Hopefully you could take something away from this and begin to manage your time more efficiently. To quote Michael Altshuler, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot”. Be present and fly well!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: