Many college students struggle with time management. Figuring out how to complete a seemingly endless list of to-dos can be a daunting challenge. Globe University-Minneapolis students today are often faced with more than just their college coursework—many are also working full time and raising children. It is impossible to add more hours to our day, but we can learn to manage our time more efficiently. Below are five easy ways to effectively manage your time.
1. Use a planner. This sounds like a simple solution, and it is. Using a planner to map out daily, weekly and monthly activities is an excellent way to stay organized and prepared. By planning out your week, you can organize your tasks by importance and ensure that you do not forget about important deadlines or events. There are apps available for sharing calendars with family and friends. For example, iPhone and iPad calendars can be configured to have several calendars (shared, work, home, etc.) merged together to see all activities at once.
2. Hold yourself accountable. Globe University-Minneapolis business instructor Angie Norbeck incorporates time management as part of her courses. “Hold yourself accountable for what you set out to accomplish each day. Make sure you complete the most important tasks before moving on to something else. Procrastinating only makes you more disorganized and can add unnecessary stress,” Angie said.
Christine Storms, dean of education, adds, “Share your goals with others. By letting other people know your goals, you have others that can help you and also hold you accountable.”
3. Block out distractions. “While working on important tasks, try to avoid unnecessary distractions. When focusing on a project or paper, put your phone and other mobile devices away,” Emily Little, criminal justice program chair, said. “Turn the TV off and focus on the task at hand. By focusing your full attention, you can avoid simple mistakes and errors that take time to fix.”
4. Make lists. Have a set of lists that you review each day. By having a daily to-do list, a project list and long term goal list, you can see both your short and long term projects and goals and make time to complete them. Daily reminders of short and long term goals are a great way to keep accomplishments in perspective and plan ways to work on them. Daily to-do lists should be the activities that you will accomplish each day. Your project list consists of activities and projects that are on-going or have specific timelines. Your long term goal list may consist of ideas you have that can be worked on as time permits (learning a new language, writing a book, etc.).
5. Make time for interruptions. Having lists and prioritizing them is a great way to work on staying organized. Even with superior organization skills, interruptions happen and can briefly take us off track. Planning for these interruptions by leaving time open on your calendar is a great way to plan for unexpected distractions so you can stay on track.
Organization and time management is a skill that is always evolving. The more we practice, the better we become. With busy schedules including school, work and family, staying organized can help avoid unnecessary stress. Instructors at Globe University-Minneapolis incorporate these strategies on a daily basis both in and outside of the classroom. You can obtain tips and help with organization and time management from instructors, career services and in the coaching center. These are skills that can be built over a lifetime.