It’s no secret that in today’s hyper-connected world time gets away from us. What’s worse, we glorify being busy as we share our lives online. It’s easy to wonder how people seem to be doing everything and never breaking a sweat.
So how do people manage working multiple jobs, schooling, having a kid, or the many other demands that are placed on us each day? They find the methods that work for them and put them into practice every day. For me, it was as simple as prioritizing and scheduling everything.
At the beginning of 2017 I decided to start my graduate schooling. This wouldn’t seem so daunting, except I had just gotten married, was dealing with a toddler, worked a full-time and part-time job, and was actively seeking a new job. The job search eventually led into another part-time job. Things were getting hectic, and sorting out my life became top priority.
It turns out, you can find plenty of time management tips online. Some are great, some are awful, and some are just unnecessary. Here are the ones that were actually useful for me:
It’s alright to say that time with family, or a huge networking event is more important and needs to be taken care of before anything else. Knowing what is more important, not just in general but to you personally, is vital when planning out your days.
Set yourself up for Success
When you want to achieve a goal, that should be your top priority. It might mean ditching your Netflix binge habit or finding quicker dinners to make, but you want to achieve it, so set yourself up for it. Don’t push it to the background while you waste time on tasks that could be done more quickly, or skipped all together.
Use a Calendar
Schedule things! Putting everything into a reliable calendar app and using color coding options makes it so that you always know what’s coming up. You can plan intelligently and tell people yes or no on the spot. With a calendar in your pocket, it’s much easier to plan your days and ensure you aren’t over committing yourself.
Reply Right Away
Take care of everything you can immediately. Obviously, there are some things that will have to wait, but get the easy things out of the way. Whether it’s replying to emails or letting someone know if you’re free Friday at 7 p.m, reply now and save yourself the hassle later.
Find Your Spare Time
I’d have never stayed current on class readings if I hadn’t decided to do it during my lunch hour each day. Finding and utilizing small pockets of time can lead to big accomplishments. Spend some time noting five-minute tasks and accomplish those when you find yourself in waiting rooms, on hold during phone calls, or riding along for a long car ride.
Whatever your goals are, it is possible to fit them in. Think about the ways you could make your life a little easier by planning ahead and remember that we all have the same amount of time in the day. How you use it is up to you!