No matter how old you are or what is going on in your life, every person has to learn how to manage their time well. Balancing different aspects of your life is a key ingredient to being happy and successful. However, sometimes it is not as easy as we would like it to be.
Personally, there are not enough hours in the day for me to do everything that I want to do. I am a full time student at the University of Florida, I work four days a week at a restaurant, I love to exercise daily, I like to have time to socialize with my friends and I am involved with a few organizations on campus that require my time. I, like many of you, have a lot, if not too much, going on.
The first step to managing your time well is prioritizing. If you have a test the next day, but you really want to go watch a volleyball game with your friends, staying in to study probably the better option. It can be hard for some people to give up social time because they have a fear of missing out (FOMO), but in the long run missing one volleyball game will not affect your life as much as a bad grade on a test will.
The second step is getting a planner or calendar. I have three calendars that I use: a calendar that is in my iPhone, which sends me alerts and reminders about things going on at certain times and locations, a calendar that is hanging on my wall in my room and a planner that is always in my backpack. Using multiple resources to write down due dates and meeting times helps a lot. Having a few different calendars will constantly give you reminders about what you need to be doing no matter which one you look at.
A third step is to make a list of things you have going on each day. There are apps for smartphones and tablets that allow you can set reminders, dates, times and locations of the events going on in your life each day. When I am overwhelmed with the amount of things I have to do, it always helps me to write down on a piece of paper each and every thing I have to get done and what times during my day or week I can allocate towards homework, class, work, meeting or socializing. This way, I can visually see what needs to be done and when I can do it, rather than trying to keep track of everything in my head.
According to Kirsten Donovan, author of 4 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Time Management on Time Management Ninja, excuses, such as “I can’t do this,” or “I don’t have time for this,” will hurt your productivity level. My mom always told me to think, “There is someone else out there who has a busier schedule than me who is able to manage their time well, so why can’t I?”
Time management is all about prioritizing, organizing and making sacrifices in order accomplish everything that you need to do on a daily basis. It is not always easy, but with practice and a positive attitude, anyone can become more successful in balancing his or her life every day.