Photo courtesy of Pixabay
JENNA VORIS | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
Today we are talking about time management – and no, I am not missing the irony that I am writing this an hour before it is supposed to be submitted.
But that’s the thing about time management: there is no wrong or right way to be productive. Maybe waiting until the last minute brings out your personal best and most creative content.
Whether you are a faithful planner or someone who just wings it, here are a few tips I have learned about managing my time at Butler.
Get a planner.
I am a big fan of cute planners, highlighters and basically anything that gives the illusion that I have my life together. I might not actually live by my planner like some people do, but having everything written down and color coded is essential to not coming apart at the seams.
Just trust me now and make note of whatever it is you think you do not have to write down. You will avoid the panic of running around when the due date is looming and you have no idea where you put that one book.
Know what not to do.
This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. There are always assignments and readings that do not actually need to be done to do well in the class. If the professor never quizzes over the reading and instead puts all of the information in their lectures, why waste valuable time reading and annotating?
The time is better spent on the big papers or final projects. I would say the ultimate key to time management in college is knowing what assignments to just throw out.
Know your limits.
Maybe you are the type of person that can handle two jobs, a sport and eighteen academic credit hours. Personally, I love staying busy and feel strange when I have a night to myself to just do nothing.
Not everyone can do that, especially if it is their first year on campus. Understanding when to say “no” is vital not only to time management, but to life and can help reduce the number of stress-induced breakdowns later in the semester.
Start the big projects first.
Here is a tip that I am terrible at following. No matter how big the paper or assignment, I always manage to convince myself that I am capable of completing it the night before it is due. I mean, so far it has worked out pretty well for me, but it is not necessarily the most effective way of getting things done.
Even starting the project a few days in advance will make that night-before-panic a little bit less extreme.
Take some time for yourself.
Sometimes it is hard to remember that you are a human with needs and not a robotic, paper-writing, study machine. No matter how busy the day or big the test, I always try to take at least an hour every day to do something that is not related to school, sports or work.
Sometimes it is an episode – or five – of “Grey’s Anatomy” before class. Other times, hitting the gym can do wonders for helping me forget about those classes that are driving me crazy.
Remember you are allowed to be stressed, but you also should not let stress consume your life.