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Whats the best way to manage your time?

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Sindhu’s Answer

Daniela, a few things to better manage your time:
1) Prioritize: every morning or the night before create a to-do list and rank the things you need to do based on what is due and also what is important (finish the homework that is due but also make time for important things like a scholarship essay that may not be due immediately but takes time to write).
2) Be Focused: turn off distractions and interruptions as much as you can when focused on an activity. This included interruptions from family or friends, social media, etc. Focusing one one task for a couple of hours is a lot more productive than multi-tasking.
3) Allocate Time: break up your time into blocks for what you need to get done. For example, one hour for a scholarship application, 30 minutes for Science homework, etc. You may not know how long things will take when you start this and will have to adjust, but after doing this for a few weeks you will better understand how long you need for your to-dos and it will help you plan your time better.

Lastly, take breaks! Short breaks during the day and a longer one before you go to sleep helps to keep refreshed and energized.

Hope that helps.

Thank you. Daniela T.

thank you!!! Daniela T.

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Patrick’s Answer

It depends. I will share 2 concepts that might help.

1. You can try to be efficient with processes and lots of time management tools out there would help you with scheduling and prioritization. Often those are limited as we dont live our lives with just processes. There are others like building relationship that are incredibly important and often the tools are too rigid to be able to accommodate this. Think back, have you try being efficient with people when building a relationship?

2. I found one guiding principles that are really helpful in navigating (beyond tools). It's a simple idea of plotting your "things to do" across 2 different axis into a matrix.

Horizontal line split between urgent and not urgent
Vertical lines split between important and not important
You end up with a matrix with top left hand quadrant as important/urgent, top right hand quadrant as important/not urgent and so on.

Most would be tempt to spend most time in the top left and escape to the bottom quadrants when it gets too much. What most dont realize is that spending most of your time on top right is the key to reduce amount of things that will appear in the top left (key to stop you living the live where you focus on putting out the fire and invest in areas where you prevent the fire in the first place).

Hope those two concepts are helpful in your search for better time management.

Thank you! Daniela T.

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EJ’s Answer

Do you have a smartphone? One of the best ways to manage your time is with a calendar app.
I find it odd that many people buy smart phones worth hundreds of dollars, but don’t utilize the main core applications to help them organize their lives. With that being said, using a calendar application is what busy people use today. Many corporations use an enterprise calendar application in order to improve collaboration and time management for their employees. Many times, they will sometimes allow you to even sync mail and calendar data directly to your phone.
You can also look at a To Do application (e.g. google Tasks, Tick Tock, etc.), where you can prioritize tasks on a daily or even weekly basis. Since these types of applications can run on smart phones, what better tool to use, than a tool that we have by us through the whole day.
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Caterina’s Answer

Hello! I find it best to first and foremost start a list. Writing out anything and everything that I have going on will put some perspective to the load for the day/week/month.

Realistically look at what things can be done and what order they should be done in. Sometimes starting with a couple smaller tasks first will help give you motivation to continue tackling everything on your list. Be realistic about timelines and what items on your to do list are "need to do" vs "nice to do". Overall remember balance is key! Know when and where you can set boundaries and know that it is okay to take time to yourself and say no to plans or activities that might overload you work-wise or even socially.
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Simeon’s Answer

I'd recommend spending some time once a week or month and reflecting on how you spent your time. Write some goals for the coming week that are realistic and see if you achieved those goals by the next week. See if you are spending time on things that you don't value, need, or care about. If you can, do a more detailed and drawn out version of this process once a month.
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Kiirsten’s Answer

Hi Daniela!

The previous answers provided are all so great! Time management is something that I struggled with in high school between school, part time work, band, and sports-- the key for me was to sit down and plan every week for myself. I created a calendar to help me block out time for my various activities or papers/projects due, I also went to school before social media was huge so I'd add to try and block time for that (have a dedicated part of your day for you to unwind and scroll if it is needed-- so you don't get distracted with it through the day). I think the fact that you're asking for advice on this topic says a lot about how much you care about your future which is AWESOME! Like the previous answers, prioritizing is key-- there might be times where you have friends that want to go out to get coffee, but could you be studying for an exam during that time? I would avoid "cramming" projects/papers/studying if you can-- you won't end up retaining anything!

Good luck!
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Victor’s Answer

Hi Daniela!

1. Be realistic about how long things take - if you can estimate fairly accurately how long certain task and assignments take, you know how much time to give yourself.

2. When you're doing your work, get into "the zone" - find out what it takes to achieve focus and flow, or get into "the zone", that state of concentration and productivity where you get your best work done. This can be difficult; we live in a distracting world. Experiment with what works for you. Some suggestions based on my experience:
- Use headphones and find music that help you focus, for me it's upbeat music without lyrics.
- Put your phone away! Can't stress this enough. Scrolling through a phone can chew up valuable time, even if it doesn't feel like it!
- Block your time into segments, and say you will give yourself a certain amount of time on a certain task, and then you will move onto the next one. This creates a bit of a deadline, which can motivate you to work faster and be more focused. Look into the Pomodoro technique, a simple method for blocking time!

3. Prioritize the most important things first - As much as it may suck, you won't always have all the time you need to do everything perfectly. If so, make sure you do the most important things first. Task time is an investment -- invest your time where you have the best return on that investment!

4. Timebox your tasks -- this is similar to what I wrote before, but to emphasize: sometimes you only have an hour to do something. Find a way to strip down your task so that you can get SOMETHING done in an hour. It might not be the best version of your work, but at least it's complete. Timeboxing forces you to abandon perfectionism and focus on substance.

5. Consider simple tools to help you prioritize your work. I recommend Trello, it is simple, free, flexible, and powerful!

6. Take breaks. You need to refresh your mind. Step away from work for a bit and find out what helps you de-stress, and what helps you focus.

Victor recommends the following next steps:

Read about Pomodoro technique
Look into "The Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferris
Look into Trello or similar tools to help you manager your to-do list
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