Yeah I’m right there with you. Now that we’re a month into the semester (WHAT) our schedules are pretty much set and our routines are all but written in stone. If you already feel like you’re falling behind, then now is a good a time as ever to revisit some good ol’ fashioned time management skills! Make October your practice month so that when the busy second half of the semester rolls in and you got finals and projects and papers coming at you from every direction, you’ll be absolutely prepared.
1. Wake up early.
I know. Easier said than done. I’m definitely not nor will I ever be a morning person. But it really is insane how much you can get done in a day when you take advantage of the morning. If you’re already a morning person, then congratulations! You can skip ahead! But if you’re a night owl like me, my tip is to give yourself an activity in the morning that will make you get up and moving. And it doesn’t have to be every day! Even sacrificing two-three days a week to get up early will do wonders for your time management. For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays I take spinning classes at FitRec from 7am-7:45am. The workout wakes me up and I’m refreshed, showered and ready to go by 9am. Something that I guarantee you does not happen like ever on a normal basis.
2. Keep an agenda.
Whether it’s the traditional pen and paper booklet or using the calendar and reminders app synchronized through all your devices, there is nothing more important. I use both for different reasons. My day-to-day activities are on my phone and computer, and I keep track of my classes and other little reminders in my planner. Whatever works best for you, just do it. Write everything down. As soon as it is told or planned, make sure it is either on your phone or in your planner. This is the only way to guarantee you won’t miss something (which is totally possible given the thousands of things we have to keep track of nowadays!)
3. Set a weekly “organizing hour.”
This sounds weird but hear me out. Every Sunday night, I set aside at least one hour with my computer and planner and go through the week. First, I flip through the syllabus for each of my classes and check what I have due and scribble down on my planner what days to work on what. Then I go through my planner from the last week and make sure there’s nothing I missed. I give a quick glance at my weekly meetings and events for the week to make sure I know what’s coming and plan out anything I need to do for them. Lastly, if I have time (and I usually do on Sundays) I try to get a jumpstart on readings or assignments for a few classes.
These are the three tips I find the most useful when my semester starts getting too crazy. It’s easy to fall behind and get caught up in everything but trust me, you’ll want these skills perfected when finals roll around. And every semester after. And after graduation. Basically for the rest of your life. So take advantage now to find what work for you! You won’t regret it.
Hope everyone had a fantastic September!!!