Time management can be hard, especially being a student. From juggling reading lists to socialising with friends. It is a matter of multitasking, prioritising and deciding when to get everything done. As after-all, there are only so many hours in a day!
I get asked a lot how I manage my time between struggling with dyslexia and dyspraxia, as well as getting my uni reading/essays and blogging done! Truth is, I find it quite hard to find balance my time as I find myself spending more time on what I like doing, and less on the things I dislike. However, here is a list of tips and tricks to help you (and me, to be honest) get stuff done:
I am a big list maker, and although it can be stressful seeing everything that you have to do written down, I think it is a good place to start. I begin with a master list which includes absolutely every task for my day or sometimes, week (this is perfect for reading lists). Often it includes readings, blog posts and even the most mundane tasks such as cleaning or ordering my online food shopping. I then break this down into sections: university, personal and flat related tasks, etc, to make it more manageable and less daunting.
From my broken down ‘to do’ list, I find it easier to prioritise or rank my tasks. If something needs to be done immediately or is more important, such as an essay or application deadline, then that goes first and so on. Often the less of an urgency, either the easier or the less important the task.
3. Plan, plan, plan
Planning is crucial: failing to plan, is planning to fail. I plan used a paper-based system, however I also use my phone/laptop calendar to add appointments/to do’s whilst on the go. I usually sit down on a Sunday and put together my weekly master task list. From this I am often able to select certain days for certain tasks.
4. Turn off and block out
Facebook is the biggest distraction, right? And if it isn’t Facebook that I am purusing through, then it’s Twitter or Instagram. I am terrible for “just spending five-minutes” doing something I shouldn’t be. I waste so much time each day through being distracted. Therefore, it is easier just to switch off or put everything on silent, sit down and actually do what you need to do, and in half-an-hour or an hour’s time have a few minutes break to check your phone. Although, trust me, your Facebook friends probably haven’t done anything that exciting since you checked sixty-minutes prior.
5. Schedule down-time
It is all to easy to think that you can do everything in the time that you have set aside. However, down-time is important too. Just five-minutes in every sixty can be the perfect solution to having a productive day. You should spend a few minutes of “breaking” just having a wonder or stretching your legs. I know that after a while of sitting still I get so fidgety, and usually just getting up to get a drink solves this problem. Ta-da!
6. Reward yourself
During revision, I always ‘treat myself’ to watching a Youtube video after every hour of studying. Trust me, it is the best motivation and it is something that I look forward to. Self-reward goes hand-in-hand with time management. This could either be something small, or something much larger, like treating yourself to a Friday night out if you manage to get all of your to do list done!
7. Be realistic
The most important trick, is to be realistic. Get done what is physically possible and forget that which is not!
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