Time management tips for your busy life

Diane Gallagher
Features Writer

By now you most likely know that managing your time in an effective manner will help you get more done in your day to day life.  However, some may find it interesting that proper time management has significant health benefits as well.  Managing your time more wisely may help to minimize stress and improve the overall quality of your life.
Time management is the process of planning and being in charge of the amount of time spent on specific activities, particularly to increase effectiveness and productivity.  Effective time management is a great way to lower stress.  Not only can proper time management help you reduce your stress level, but it can also help you reclaim some free time for your personal life.

Managing your time is important to having a successful college career.

Heidi Young said, “To me, it’s about prioritizing your life from ‘most important to-dos’ to ‘well, it can wait.’  But before I start the week with my hectic schedule I make sure I have some down time, naps, and relaxation with friends and family.  I have learned to let go of a lot of things.  I have also learned to live in the moment. I cannot always control everything that comes my way, but I take it one day at a time.”
In order to better manage your time, focus on limiting interruptions, getting enough sleep, and studying even when you are feeling less than motivated.  Try to keep in mind that procrastination will result in avoidable stress and possibly poor academic performance.  Here are a few tips from CollegeAtlas to help you start managing your time more efficiently:
•   Stay focused on your long-term goals: List long-term goals and develop a plan to reach them.  Remember, it is difficult to get the results you desire without having a plan.

•   Make sure to schedule everything: Use a day planner to keep track of assignment due dates, tests, group study sessions, and other important events. Plan ahead for scheduled tests and due dates so that nothing important falls to the wayside.

•   Start planning for tomorrow at the end of today: Develop detailed plans for each day, including when you plan to wake up. Set aside time to attend class, eat, study, and relax.

•   Once you have a plan in place, stick with it: It is impossible to plan for daily interruptions; however, try to avoid being sidetracked by distractions that can lead to hours of wasted time.  Stick to your plan as closely as possible, but do not ignore emergencies.  Try to refrain from wasting time on tasks that can be dealt with at a later time.  If your plan changes, do not forget to reschedule the previously planned tasks.

•   Start with the hard project and then move to the easier stuff: Complete difficult projects before moving on to easier ones. You will be less stressed and better prepared for tests.

•   Break large projects down into several simpler projects: Breaking larger projects into chunks simplifies the scheduling process.
•   Develop a flexible schedule: Create flexible schedules; schedule breaks and plan for interruptions.  It is important to schedule recreational breaks to reduce stress.

•   If your plan is not working out right today there is always tomorrow: Time management skills are developed through trial and error.  Consider each day as an opportunity to improve.

“I manage my time by taking windows of opportunity,” Mary Nickle said, adding, “It is important to have work-life-school balance.  I don’t give up the important things or fun, relaxing times.  It is a matter of being strategic and keeping a planner helps a lot. I also use a lot of sticky notes.”
Remember, it is all right to say “no” to nonessential tasks; always consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.  It is also a good idea to delegate.  Take a look at your to-do list and pass on dispensable tasks to someone else who is willing to help you out.  If you are still feeling overwhelmed after trying to implement these time management tips, reach out for help; after all, time management takes practice.